David Moyes has sensationally reaffirmed the belief of every Evertonian, by stating that he firmly believes that Evertons exit from the Champions League in 2005 was fixed by UEFA.
The controversial tie against Villarreal, arguably the hardest team in the draw, was notable for a chalked off Duncan Ferguson goal for no apparent reason – a fact referee Pierluigi Collina has since admitted.
Collina himself came out of retirement for that one game, then promptly retired straight after, sparking serious concerns over his motivation for taking the game on.
Predictably, no investigation followed, and Everton have failed to qualify for the Champions League ever since.
Moyes believes that the draw itself was possibly rigged, hinting at a “hot ball” method (where the balls in the bag are heated up to distinguish them from the colder balls), and that in any event the appointment of Collina and his subsequent poor officiating raises more than the usual alarm bells.
“The draw we got was a stinker. I always think it was the Â´hot ballsÂ´ in the bag that day.
“We went away (trailing 2-1) and Duncan Ferguson scored to make it 2-1 on the night to take it to extra-time and Pierluigi Collina chops it off.
“That could have changed what we did at Everton. If we had got into the group stages with the money that was available.”
Moyes believes that UEFA did not want five English teams in the main Champions League draw, and wished to avoid that scenario at all costs, even going as far as outright corruption to achieve that end.
“Everyone knows the previous season Liverpool had won the European Cup so deep down I didnÂ´t think they (UEFA) wanted five British teams in the group stages.
“I am sure they were all delighted when we were knocked out.”