Newcastle United are set to make their return to the UEFA Champions League after a two-decade-long wait when they take on AC Milan at the San Siro, but they mistakenly broke a UEFA rule ahead of the game that has left rivals fans laughing.
The Magpies will be back in European action for the first time since the 2012/13 season, when they went all the way to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League. They’ve been quite unlucky enough to be placed in the ‘Group of Death’ in the Champions League this season alongside AC Milan, PSG and Borussia Dortmund.
Despite that, this will be a brilliant learning experience for the Newcastle players and give their supporters a chance to travel to the elite European games as well. With that being said, the Magpies were marred by some bad luck that got them in trouble with UEFA before the game.
A day ahead of the game, the Magpies had problems with their flight to Milan. They ended up having a delay of two hours and twenty minutes, reaching the Italian city way later than anticipated.
As a result, Eddie Howe’s pre-match press conference was also delayed, and caused them to break UEFA’s rules which state that a press conference must happen between 12 PM (GMT) and 8 PM (GMT) ahead of Champions League games, which Newcastle were unable to fulfil.
The Magpies are unlikely to get a major punishment for it and might just get a warning from UEFA more than anything else. Howe explained his side’s frustrations for reaching Milan so late, causing them to also miss a training session and said: “It’s just part and parcel of the job that we do.
“It’s not out of the normal that that can happen. This was a weather problem, but we’ve been in similar situations.
“We are were sat on the runway for some time. As I say we are used to it. It is slightly later arrival than we would have liked but no big deal. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for us. So apologies for being late.”
It’s quite clear that Newcastle did not miss that deadline purposefully and that their delay was mostly forced by the bad weather around Milan. Despite that, rival fans have started to drag them for making this silly little error just before their big return to the Champions League and how this reeks of inexperience.
they aren’t used to UCL nights😭— ft_cfc (@4chunatus) September 18, 2023
Not their fault..they’re not familiar with UCL rules😭— Nungua Burnaboy (@Views09) September 18, 2023
Some have straight up started asking for the Magpies to receive a punishment for this, despite this not being something they could change. There is still no confirmation if UEFA will be punishing the Premier League side for this, but the maximum punishment they could get for this is to pay a fine rather than facing any suspension or anything else.
Despite that, a few supporters are even asking for Newcastle United to be replaced by another Premier League team like Chelsea or Liverpool – who definitely have more experience of playing in the Champions League and handling these situations better.
With that being said, Newcastle’s error is definitely not that grave to warrant their Champions League spot being stripped. They will definitely be playing in the group stages, as they aim to make the Premier League proud with a strong showing against intimidating opponents in the months ahead.