Jose Enrique takes savage dig at Man Utd over Champions League rule changes

Manchester United are facing the prospect of no Champions League football next term but a revamped Champions League could see them benefit from new UEFA rule changes as they are mocked by former Liverpool man Jose Enrique

Man Utd are currently facing the prospect of no Champions League football next term
Man Utd are currently facing the prospect of no Champions League football next term

Jose Enrique has mocked Manchester United ahead of proposed Champions League rule changes that could favour the Red Devils.

The Premier League side are currently facing an uphill battle if they want to compete in next year’s tournament. United were knocked out in the last 16 by Atletico Madrid and currently sit sixth in the league. They will need to put together an impressive winning run and hope their rivals falter if they are to be a Champions League side next term.

United’s decline since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 has seen them absent from Europe’s top table on several occasions. However new rules that are part of a UEFA revamp could hand those on the red half of Manchester and much needed boost from 2024.

By that point the club will hope to have got their house in order as they seek a new permanent boss ahead of a potential player overhaul at Old Trafford. But UEFA’s reformed competition will see the amount of clubs taking part increase to 36 – with two spots given to the team’s with the best coefficient ranking who are absent.

This will reward historical pedigree rather than modern day performances. Currently, based on the last decade, Real Madrid sit top of the coefficient list. United are ninth and would likely qualify based on this system were in being implemented today. As a result former Liverpool man Enrique has poked fun at the Red Devils.

He said on social media: “They don’t know what to do to help United to play Champions League”. The best display for those on the red half of Manchester since Ferguson’s departure is two quarter-finals as they have continued to fall below expectations.

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However the club have won the competition three times historically. Two of those have come during the Champions League era as Ferguson presided over successes in 1999 and 2008. They also made finals in 2009 and 2011 and were regulars in the knockout stages.

Those triumphs could yet prove advantageous going forward as the current crop of players struggle on the pitch. United last failed to qualify for the Champions League in 2019 as they finished sixth having also been missing from Europe’s top table in 2014/15 and 2016/17.

UEFA’s new look Champions League has been criticised however with West Ham chief Karren Brady taking aim. She wrote in The Sun that the “European Club Association are nodding to a rich boys’ club who don’t like the idea of fair competition at home leaving them without a ticket to further big bucks abroad.”

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