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Rafael Benitez derides Champions League play-off plan


We already play too many games - Benitez

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has laughed off the idea of a Champions League play-off, saying teams would be playing "until the end of the century".

The suggestion of a play-off between the teams who come fourth to seventh for the fourth spot has drawn mixed reviews but Benitez says it is absurd.

"We are playing too much now. They were talking about a 39th game being played in Asia," he said.

"If we now play the play-offs we'll be playing until the end of the century."

The move would need the approval of 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs to come into effect, and could not be introduced for three years because of existing television contracts.

It has been interpreted as a way of increasing competition in the Premier League, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have filled the top four positions in five out of the past six seasons.


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has come out against the idea, saying "after 38 games, you have to consider the table is the table", while Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill called it "interesting" and said it was something "people might go for."

But Benitez was damning in his criticism of the idea, sarcastically suggesting it could be used at the foot of the table as well.

"To play three, maybe four fixtures, when you don't have time with international football - when will you play, how can you play these games and what does it mean for the team that finishes fourth?" asked Benitez.

"Maybe we can do the same with the teams at the bottom of the table. If you finish fourth maybe you could play with the team who finished third from the bottom.

"Then during the whole season we can play 50 games and we don't have to rest so that will be fantastic."

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see also
Euro play-off plan divides bosses
16 Feb 10 |  Premier League
Top flight ponders Euro play-offs
15 Feb 10 |  Premier League
Ferguson condemns 39th game plan
16 Dec 08 |  Man Utd
Is Premier League world's best?
11 Apr 08 |  Football
Mixed reaction to overseas plan
08 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Does the world want Premier League?
14 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Fifa rejects 39th-game proposal
14 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Top clubs consider overseas games
07 Feb 08 |  Premier League
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day

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