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Fans call for Champions League to return to ITV

Ryan Sidle

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Fans call for Champions League to return to ITV

A promo video from Barcelona and Chelsea's epic Champions League rivalry from the mid 00s has fans calling for the competition to be back on ITV.

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The Champions League might be the biggest tournament in the world, and as always everyone was hooked to the tv to find out which teams were drawn with which in today's group draw, but even it isn't impervious to nostalgia.

There's very little in the world that doesn't seem in some way better seen through the eyes of sentimental affection, and that's definitely true with football.

For many growing up, the Champions League was watched on ITV, with Clive Tyldesley on commentary for some of the biggest nights in European football.

Every Manchester United fan of a certain age can easily recall such commentary lines as "FULL SPEED AHEAD BARCELONA" and "MANCHESTER UNITED HAVE REACHED THE PROMISED LAND, and "AND SOLSKJAER'S WON IT!"

United fans can probably hear this picture. Image: Alamy
United fans can probably hear this picture. Image: Alamy

But it wasn't just big United fans that Tyldesley's voice is connected too, with Chelsea's brilliant 00s rivalry with Barcelona also soundtracked by the commentator.

In 12 years from 2000, the two sides faced each other 12 times in the competition, with six of those meetings coming from February 2005 to October 2006.

The promo video for the later games in 2006 recently went viral on social media and the flash of nostalgia had fans calling for ITV to get the rights to show UEFA's premier club competition once again.


ITV had been the main broadcaster of the competition from 1992, when it changed from the European Cup, before Sky also bought some of the rights.

Initially the two shared live matches, with ITV getting one game a week, before they eventually just carried the highlights shows for terrestrial television.

BT Sport bought all the rights to live games and highlights in 2013, and people without a subscription have been starved ever since.

They do at least show the final on YouTube every season, allowing more fans to view the game for free.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Champions League, BT Sport, Chelsea, Barcelona

Ryan Sidle
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