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Apr 17, 2009

Scudamore defends Prem's UCL dominance

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has defended the success of English clubs in the Champions League following criticism of their sustained dominance in Europe's top club competition.

With Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all reaching the semi-finals this season, it is the third year running that three top-flight clubs from England have reached the last four of the Champions League, something which has irked both UEFA and FIFA.

But Scudamore told The Sun: ''It's a pity we couldn't have had all four of our clubs in the semi-finals. The whole point of a competition is the best come out on top and that is what is happening.

''There are no easy games in the Premier League and that prepares clubs well for Europe. What matters is that the best teams play the best football, entertain the fans and win matches.

''I understand the arguments against English domination but I don't accept them.

''However, at the moment clubs from the same country cannot be drawn against each other until the quarter-finals.

''They could make it an open draw from the last 16.''

It is not the first time Scudamore has clashed with FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his counterpart at UEFA, Michel Platini.

The World and European governing bodies are concerned that the Premier League's dominance is an artificial reflection of English football which has been skewed by the wealth of the Premier League and the increasing number of foreign owners and foreign players.

Scudamore's controversial proposal for a 39th game also caused consternation amongst senior figures at FIFA and UEFA.

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