At the top today is midfielder Maéva Clemaron.
Ramble of the Day
Tottenham will make its Conference League debut today, which I think gives us the perfect opportunity to really think about UEFA’s newest tournament. Initially, I wasn’t a fan because I couldn’t shake the idea of it rewarding teams in major leagues for unimpressive finishes. I do like the idea of a tournament for teams outside of the bigger leagues, though, and I suppose it’s fine if you invite a few more high-profile teams to the party.
As long as you look at it through the lens of competition — certainly the most important lens here — there’s no reason to really think of it as a third-rate competition compared to the Champions League and Europa League. I have to say, though, UEFA’s branding of the new league is genuinely not helping matters.
I am pretty sure the Conference League ranks third compared to UEFA’s other leagues in all of those categories, so allow me to write as I think.
- Name: Definitely bottom of the pack here. Champions League is a self explanatory name, and Europa League actually works pretty nicely for a randomly selected name. Nothing named conference is inspiring.
- Logo: I think all of the logos are fine, but the Champions League logo edges out the other two. The Conference League logo looks a bit like a knockoff of the Europa League logo, so I’ll have to rank it third. I’m not as hard on the Conference League logo as I am on the name, though.
- Trophy: I actually think both of the Champions League and Europa League trophies are nice, but I can’t say the same about the Conference League trophy. It’s not that special, despite the attempt.
- Anthem: I can’t say yet! The people uploading the official anthem on YouTube make it seem like the Conference League shares an anthem with the Europa League, which is fine considering its official name is UEFA Europa Conference League. I will say that I may like the Europa League anthem a little bit more than the Champions League anthem.
tl;dr: The Conference League may check out competitively, but UEFA dropped the ball on branding.
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Links of the Day
Lancashire Police are investigating an alleged racist hate crime during Tuesday’s match between Blackpool and Coventry.
UEFA will reportedly provide a pandemic relief fund of up to $7b, available for teams in European competition.
A longer read: Paul Doyle interviews Wolves’ Raúl Jiménez on his recovery from the skull fracture he suffered last year and his journey back to the pitch for the Guardian