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Poll: Is the Europa League a prestigous tournament with rich heritage?

A UEFA prompt sheet ahead of the UEFA Europa League match at the Olympic Stadium, Athens. Picture: PA Wire A UEFA prompt sheet ahead of the UEFA Europa League match at the Olympic Stadium, Athens. Picture: PA Wire

Friday, October 5, 2012
4:57 PM

UEFA are asking club officials to boost the profile of the Europa League by telling managers and players to refer to the competition in glowing terms, it has emerged.

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The Europa League is often viewed, particularly in England, as the Champions League’s ugly sister, despite a high-profile rebranding of the competition in 2009.

Winners of the Champions League take home a cheque for nine million Euros (£7.24million) but the Europa League winners earn a third of that and the difference in TV revenue is also vast.

It emerged today that UEFA are handing out prompt sheets to the communication departments of Europa League clubs before media conferences that ask them to refer to the competition in a positive light.

The prompt sheet, which was discovered at the top table of Tottenham’s pre-Panathinaikos press conference in Athens on Wednesday, asks press officers to brief their respective players and coaches that the Europa League is “prestigious” and “rich in heritage”.

The sheet, headlined “Discover the Drama”, reads: “At the start of the press conference, below messages should be used by the Club Press Officers.

“In addition, they may also be used by Club Press Officers when briefing coaches and players as their would be of great support to us.

“- UEFA Europa League is prestigious - it provides clubs, players and fans with the challenge of competing in European football for an elite trophy.

“- UEFA Europa League is rich in heritage having provided some of European football’s most memorable moments and characters in recent years.

“- The most important quality that we want to communicate is that the UEFA Europa League is dramatic.”

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas gave the competition a glowing report in the press conference, although he has every reason to given that lifting the trophy in 2009 proved to be the launch pad for his career.

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