By Sir Hardly Anyone
Of course Liverpool v Tottenham will not be the first Champions League final involving a club that is not a champion in their own country.
Indeed I am not sure if there haven’t been Champions Leagues finals in which neither club involved is a champion either in the season of the final, or the qualifying season – the season before. Quite probably there have although I can’t think of any (but I am sure I can be corrected on this).
But looking at the records I don’t think that there has ever been a Champions League final wherein it is quite so long since EITHER of the teams were champions.
And yet despite this, the media is still continuing calling it “The Champions League”.
The first thing to note I guess is that neither Tottenham nor Liverpool have EVER (and I mean that – not ever) won the Premier League. Now I know that if you meander around Google you will find the question “Who won most Premier League titles?” and there you will see Liverpool in second position with 18 titles – but of course it is nonsense. A typical piece of misinformation. I don’t know who put it up, but it is just silly.
The premier league started in 1992/3 and Liverpool last won the top division in England in 1990. Two years before the PL started. In short, and not to put too fine a point on it, they have never won the premier league. (Arsenal incidentally have won it three times, but we are not boasting.)
So Liverpool is entering the Champions League having never ever won the Premier League.
But well, such things happens, so let us take a look at their valient opponents – a team particularly well known for having glasses of beer that fill from the bottom upwards, and which, if one fiddles with the magnetic whatnot, then empty themselves all over one. And very droll it is too.
Right, Tottenham From the Bottom (as they might be called) have won the League twice, in 1951 and 1961. And yes that is not a misprint. Twice it is. The last time they won it was something like 58 years ago. That might be 57 or 59 I ran out of fingers while counting but it is something like that.
So Liverpool were champions 29 years ago, and have never won the Premier League. And Tottenham were champions something like 58 years ago and have never won the Premier League. And they are playing in the Champions League final. Which is odd.
But not unexpected, because before the season began Untold made a bunch of predictions as to who would win various leagues. It read
- England: Manchester City
- Spain: Barcelona
- Scotland: Celtic
- Italy: Juventus
- Germany: Bayern Munich
- France: PSG
Not a Liverpool nor a Totteham in sight.
But then having made the predictions, Andrew came along with a fascinating article in which he explained why such predictions could be made by looking at the aggregated player values for the teams we had chosen.
So what happened?
Here are the details of who actually won the league
- England: Manchester City won the league
- Spain: Barcelona are 11 points clear with one game to play
- Scotland: Celtic are six points clear with one game to play
- Italy: Juventus are 13 points clear with one game in hand
- Germany: Bayern Munich are 2 points clear of Dortmund with one game to go.
- France: PSG won the league by 16 points
So without any particular skill or insight we got at least five, and possibly six of our predictions right. And as you can see there is not a Tottenham or a Liverpool in sight. Just as there hasn’t been since the start of the Champions League.
Of course Tottenham and Liverpool supporters may argue that it is not there fault, since it could have been called the League of Clubs who Might or Might Not have won their League. But it wasn’t. It was called the Champions League. And it will be contested by clubs who won their titles 29 and 58 years ago.
So what might it be called? The Old Timers League? That might do it. I’ll go for that.
Of course to be fair, because if I am not, some supporters of other clubs might write in and say that their club has won the league in its many forms more times than Arsenal, I ought to say how many times various clubs have won the league. Here we go…
Manchester United have won the league 20 times. Liverpool have won it 18 times. Arsenal have won it 13 times. No one else has won it 10 or more times. Tottenham have won it twice.
Looking at other big clubs, Manchester City have won the title six times – the same as Sunderland and Chelsea, and remain (as far as I know) the only club ever to have won the title one season and then been relegated the next. Tottenham, with their two titles, are sitting alongside the mighty Preston, Derby, Burnley and Portsmouth. Although Preston last won the title 119 years ago when there were just 12 clubs in the league.
Of course it might be argued that this league winning stuff is all very well, but shouldn’t we also take note of the FA Cup? I am not sure it is relevant here, but just in case, here is a list of the top FA Cup winners…
|Club||Wins||First final won||Last final won|
It’s a funny old thing this “Champions” league malarky. And yes of course I wish we were in it next season, and I still hope we might be by beating Chelsea in our last game – so I am not trying to hide my feelings on this. Just to point out that sometimes Champions have not been champions for a year or two. Or 58. Although that might be 57.