Reuters reports that UEFA is considering changing the name of its second tier UEFA Cup competition to the UEFA Europa League or the Europa Cup. The planned rebranding was revealed by Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, also the acting chairman of the new European Clubs Association, The European Clubs Assocation was presented with the proposal on Monday.
Rummenigge alluded to the general impression that maintains that the UEFA Cup is a second-class competition . Despite the fact that it is often more exciting and more unpredictable than the Champions League, casual football fans choose to turn their nose up at the UEFA Cup simply because the ‘big clubs’ are not involved rather than judging the quality of football on offer. However, the thinking is that a fresh start for the competition and more aggressive marketing might net UEFA more dollars in terms of advertising and TV deals.
The name change will likely be brought in at the same time as the revamped format for the UEFA Cup takes hold as of the 2009-10 season. The new group stage will directly copy the format of the Champions League.
I don’t want to be a stodgy traditionalist and I am in favour of the group stage changes but I have to admit that I’m initially not impressed with the proposed name change. Europa League? It just doesn’t carry the excitement of a name like Champions League. One thing for sure is that it will certainly take a while before people stop calling it the UEFA Cup or ‘competition formerly known as the UEFA Cup’.
What’s your take on the proposed name change? Feel free to post alternate name ideas and/or your suggestions for improving the competition.