When Juventus scored in the opening minutes in the away leg of their last 16 Champions League tie last night it felt familiar. It’s just three years since you and I saw them in person do the same thing at the same stage of the competition.
It took Bayern Munich 70 minutes to rebound but we’ve not really recovered from a lapses in a tie which could otherwise have been far closer than the five goal margin it turned into. Getting back onto the same field with the likes of Juventus after Christmas (or even after August) is now the big challenge. It will take some doing.
I liked Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as a player but as a Usurper of Meritocracy he’s falling well down my list. He celebrated both teams after last night’s game before asking how long Uefa would countenance teams like Juventus exiting the competition at this stage? Not only would he like clubs like his get guaranteed entrance to the competition, he feels that elimination in March should is too harsh a consequence for losing.
I’m sure Rummenigge was being deliberately absurd last night. He’s trying to provoke alarm before playing his hand.
John Clark, on Scottish Football Monitor, attended SFA chief executive Stewart Regan’s presentation at Edinburgh University yesterday on values and integrity in football. Mr Clark questioned Mr Regan on whether Rangers failure to pay overdue social taxes in 2011 broke Uefa competition eligibility rules. Clark informs us Regan said he would do “Nothing” if incontrovertible evidence was available that social taxes were unpaid and that debt collectors had been employed.
We have a criminal lack of oversight in Scotland, not just in football. This attitude would not be possible in London.
The spirit of Jack Warner, Sepp Blatter and so many others is alive and well at Hampden. This is what we’re up against, and remember people, Blame the Victim is the hottest game in town, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the background, anyone can play.