‘They do not know what to do to help Manchester United!’: Former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique mocks old rivals over rule change that would see failing big clubs still awarded a Champions League spot based on past glories
- Former Liverpool star Jose Enrique has put the boot into Manchester United
- Reports claimed two top clubs could get Champions League spot in the future
- The proposals have been backed for 2024 based on historical performance
- Enrique joked UEFA ‘do not know what to do to help United’ on social media
Former Liverpool defender has stuck the boot into old rivals Manchester United after reports of a possible Champions League rule change to include top teams based on former glories – joking UEFA ‘do not know what to do to help United’.
Last week a report from the Guardian claimed Europe’s top football chiefs had backed proposals to include two teams in the elite competition from the 2024-25 campaign if they had not managed to secure qualification through their league.
That would give teams that have previously struggled to make the top three or four in their division – such as AC Milan or Manchester United – a helping hand thanks to their strong co-efficient, racked up through successes in the past.
Former Liverpool defender Jose Enrique (R) has taken a cheeky swipe at Manchester United
He joked UEFA ‘do not know how to help’ his old rivals after reports big clubs could be given a place in the Champions League based on former glories
The report from the Guardian claimed the reforms – aimed at making the Champions League ‘inclusive and premium’ – were ‘all but certain’ to be implemented in a few seasons’ time after being developed by the European Club Association.
And Enrique – who played for Liverpool and Newcastle during his time in the Premier League – could not help but take a swipe at his former rivals United by suggesting UEFA were trying to ensure the club stay in the competition despite their struggles to stay in the top four.
The Spaniard posted a picture of the Champions League trophy on Twitter followed by a screenshot of the story, writing: ‘They do not know what to do to help United to play Champions League,’ followed by a laughing emoji.
United are facing a real struggle to make the cut this season after a turbulent campaign so far
The rule change would certainly be a big help to United this season. Following their 1-1 draw at home to Leicester on the weekend, Ralf Rangnick’s side are now three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, with Arsenal level at 54 points having played a game less.
Enrique – who survived a brain tumor diagnosis in 2018 – joined the Premier League in 2007 as he signed for Newcastle from Villarreal.
He played 129 times for the Magpies before his displays earned him a big move to Liverpool in 2011, signing for £ 7million. He would feature 99 times for the Reds and won the EFL cup in 2011-12.
Enrique rounded off his playing days with Real Zaragoza in 2016 before being forced to retire a year later due to a persistent knee injury.
European chiefs have discussed reforms that would see two elite sides awarded a place in the Champions League by 2024-2025 to make the competition ‘inclusive and premium’
The plans for changes to the Champions League format come as officials look to see off the threat of a European Super League breakaway group.
The ECA met at a congress last month to discuss the possible reforms to reserve two spots in the Champions League for teams based on historical performance, with Aki Riihilahti saying he was ‘very happy’ with them.
‘When we’re talking about the European performance spots, we added domestic performance because you have to look at the whole picture,’ he said, as reported by the Guardian.
‘How do we have quality premium competitions which are also inclusive? When we add the domestic performance [that means] the next best is there.
‘There’s no leapfrogging. It’s fair, it adds value, and overall when you look at the total picture it makes sense. As a smaller country’s champion, I was very happy with the whole thing. ‘