Ahead of the Champions League draw today it is a good time to have a look at the competitiveness of European football.
During his tenure at UEFA Michel Platini has made it his goal to remove the financial advantage clubs like Manchester United or PSG have so that the competitiveness of the Champions League could be improved.
Looking at the pots of seeded and unseeded teams however it is clear that this isn't happening. Out of the 8 teams that are seeded as group winners only Athletico Madrid and Dortmund are not filthy rich.
By contrast in the pot of unseeded teams only Manchester City and Arsenal are not massively rich and knowledge of the group stages explains their presence.
Manchester City were in a group with last years winners Bayern Munich and even then might have qualified had someone on the Citizen's bench done GCSE maths. Arsenal were in a group with Napoli and last years runner's up Dortmund where all three finished on 12 points. Europa League bound Napoli must look at Galatasaray and Zenit's qualification and shake their heads.
The rest of the teams in the unseeded pot simply lack quality. Historical powerhouses Milan languish in 12th in Serie A. Leverkusen have been spanked twice by a weak Manchester United and the odds on Olympiacos, Shalke, Galatasaray or Zenit troubling the quarter finals will be long indeed.
Platini may have set out to create a more balanced Europe with Financial Fair Play and an expanded Champions League. This seasons 2nd round draw however suggests this these measures are cosmetic at best.