Arsene Wenger: 'Champions League has lost its sparkle'

Arsene Wenger: 'UCL has lost its sparkle'
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Arsene Wenger insists that only a small proportion of Champions League fixtures are worth watching as the competition has 'become too routine'.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that the Champions League has "lost some attraction power" in recent years as only a handful of group games are now worth watching.

The Gunners missed out on qualification for European football's elite-club competition this term for the first time in 19 years after finishing fifth in the Premier League last season.

Viewing figures have dwindled in Britain since BT Sport won the rights to air the premier competition, and Wenger believes that is because some of its lure has been lost over time.

"I think that, in the group stage, there are not many interesting games. [It has become] a routine," he told reporters. "You choose only one or two games. Look at the audiences. It has lost some attraction power."

Arsenal are competing in the Europa League this season, kicking their campaign off with a 3-1 win over FC Koln at the Emirates Stadium earlier this month.

Mesut Ozil looks forlorn during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Bournemouth on September 9, 2017
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