European managers ask Uefa to review away goals rule

Call comes as coaches believe scoring away from home is not as difficult as it used to be

 Juventus coach  Massimiliano Allegri leaves the meeting after the   Uefa Elite Club Coaches Forum, at the Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Photograph: EPA

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri leaves the meeting after the Uefa Elite Club Coaches Forum, at the Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Photograph: EPA

 

Europe’s top club coaches have asked Uefa to review the use of the away goals rule in continental competitions because scoring away from home is not as difficult as it used to be.

They also want the transfer window to end at the same time in all the region’s major leagues. Uefa’s deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti confirmed that the European soccer body would “open a discussion” on the use of the away goals rule which is used to determine the winners of knockout ties when the aggregate score is level.

The annual meeting included Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Carlos Ancelotti (Napoli), Unai Emery (Arsenal), Paulo Fonseca (Shakhtar Donetsk), Julen Lopetegui (Real Madrid) José Mourinho (Manchester United), Thomas Tuchel (Paris St Germain) and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

“The coaches think that scoring goals away is not as difficult as it was in the past . . . so they think the rule should be reviewed and that’s what we will do,” Marchetti said.

Neutral ground

“They consider the situation in football has changed and the weight of the away goals is not the same as many years ago when the rule was introduced.”

The rule was first introduced in the former European Cup Winners’ Cup competition in 1965 as an alternative to tossing a coin or staging a replay on a neutral ground.

At the time, playing away in Europe was a huge challenge which involved difficult travel and intimidating, unfamiliar conditions abroad, a far cry from today where it is considered routine. Marchetti said the coaches felt the rule was also counter-productive and that, as much as encouraging away teams to attack, it induced home teams to defend to avoid conceding a costly goal.

“This is one of the points that needs to be looked at,” he said. On the transfer window, he said the coaches wanted more countries to follow the example of England and Italy and close them before the start of the season.

The transfer windows in England and Italy were changed this year in response to complaints last year that they had overshadowed the action on the pitch and made it difficult for coaches to plan.

However, in Spain, Germany and France, they continued until the end of August as before. “The coaches are of an opinion that there should be a unified window and the window should close before the competition starts,” said Marchetti. “The idea would be to try and bring them into line.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.