The footballing authorities often seem to be all over the place and nothing is ever simple, apart from the overwhelming drive for everybody to make as much money as possible!

Ever since they were caught out when Liverpool won the Champions League but didn’t finish in the league top four that same season, you struggle to believe anything they say.

With their rules not allowing Liverpool to qualify for the following season’s Champions League competition (as holders didn’t automatically qualify for the next season), the authorities disgracefully just made it up as they went along and threw Liverpool into the early qualifying rounds….and the jammy sods nearly ended up winning it again, only losing out in the final.

Only Liverpool would have the luck of almost winning the very top prize in club football when they hadn’t even qualified to play in it!

Obviously after that they changed the rules so Champions League winners automatically qualified for the next season and in the case of if it happened to an English club then whoever finishes fourth in the league only gets Europa, not Champions, League.

As confusion reigns, Alan Pardew was on their case this week;

“What I do know is that this European qualification is about as complicated as it gets, we need Carol Vorderman to work this one out. Let’s just say there’s a bit of confusion over it in my mind.

You’re talking about qualifying games for the two competitions, for example when we might come in to the qualifiers. There seems to be a little bit of confusion over which position gets you where.

“I’m not having a dig at the FA or anything – the most important thing for us is to win the game, then I suppose the Chelsea-Barcelona thing all sorts itself out.”

It would be nice if we just made it simple for everybody with Newcastle United winning all their matches and ended up in third with the North London competition falling away.

To think, they used to have this mad complicated arrangement where the club that won the league in each country went into a knockout competition and the team that won that competition was the champion of champions.