Total Network Solutions have hinted at yet another possibility for the location of the second-leg European Cup qualifier between Liverpool and TNS – Goodison Park, home of Everton. The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and even Anfield have all been mentioned previously.
The idea of playing the game in the Reds’ home city appeal to TNS owner Mike Harris: "It would probably make much more sense to play both legs in Liverpool. All of the possible options have their pros and cons but, regardless of that, I don’t think Wrexham would be big enough for the tie and I’m not sure how many people would make the long trip to the Millennium Stadium if we lose the first leg at Anfield."
UEFA’s beaurocrats may well need to be contacted before a decision is made says Harris: "Wherever we play would have to be sanctioned by all the bodies involved and I think Uefa rules say that you must play in the country that you are representing. But all these rules are there to be dismantled, so we shall see."
Everton’s ground holds less than Anfield, but its 40,500 capacity is still more than Wrexham’s. There’s even a possibility that the ground would be closer to capacity for the Liverpool game than it will be when Everton play their Champions League qualifier in August.
Barry Town are the only Welsh side in history to have ever won a Champions League tie, and Harris thinks that the chance of TNS emulating that are slim this season, but he’s still happy: "I think drawing the European Champions is adequate compensation. This is great news for us and for the Welsh league."
The Welsh league was set up to allow the Welsh FA to retain their independent status from England, but gets very little attention in the media, less than the English Conference. Wrexham and Cardiff City both play in the English League as they were given dispensation by UEFA at the time the Welsh league was formed. Harris thinks that the Liverpool tie will do the Welsh league the power of good: "People will hopefully now realise that our league exists because most seem to think we are one below the Conference."