Managers offer mixed reaction to Euro 2020 plans

Tournament will be played in cities across Europe

Arsene Wenger called it “creative”, Harry Redknapp found it “interesting” and Paul Lambert and Sam Allardyce questioned the need for change as UEFA's plan to stage Euro 2020 across the continent met with a mixed reaction from Premier League managers.

Arsenal boss Wenger saw pros and cons in the idea but did not dismiss it out of hand while Lambert and Allardyce felt the existing format, with one or two host countries, should be maintained.

Wenger, speaking at Arsenal's press conference ahead of tomorrow's clash with West Bromwich Albion, said: "I'm not against the idea. I haven't studied it well enough to give a verdict on it. It has advantages [and] it has disadvantages.

"The advantage is that the whole [of] Europe would be concerned by the championship.

"The disadvantage is sometimes when the country organizes the European championship, it's a good opportunity for them to build structures [that] are very useful on new stadiums, new training pitches [and] new communication facilities.

"It's always a good opportunity to make up-to-date structures for football. [In] the long-term, that's important.

"I find the idea creative. They said the final will possibly be at Wembley, so we will not complain."

Villa boss Lambert, preparing for Stoke's visit to Villa Park tomorrow, was less welcoming of Michel Platini's plan.

He said: "It is quite a bit away isn't it but I'm probably not an advocate of it and prefer the format the way it was, set in one country.

"It is expensive as well and isn't going to get any cheaper for fans if they are going to get around different countries."

Allardyce, speaking ahead of West Ham's meeting with Liverpool on Sunday, wondered why UEFA felt the need to adopt a new format in 2020.

"Multiple cities would be an interesting scenario," he said. "I don't quite know why they want to change it to multiple cities because I don't think there has been anything wrong with the European Championships I have been watching over the past 20 to 30 years.

"I don't know why, unless they think it spreads out the venues and it spreads out the crowds and they get better revenues.

"But I'm not sure that teams travelling all over Europe would be good for the competition."

QPR manager Harry Redknapp, ahead of tomorrow's trip to Wigan, said: "It will be interesting won't it? Platini has come up with a new idea. Let's have a look and see."

PA

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