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'A marketing strategy for a drinks brand... And far worse' - Richie Sadlier on Champions League semi-finalists

The RTÉ analyst went where some football pundits are reluctant to go.

RTÉ PUNDIT Richie Sadlier went where some football pundits are reluctant to go by hitting out at the controversial set-ups of both PSG and RB Leipzig as part of the coverage of tonight’s Champions League semi-final.

Both clubs are far from universally popular owing to the controversial nature of their respective ownerships and the former Ireland international did not shy away from this issue.

“They are very unpopular for very understandable reasons,” he said.

“One way at looking at Leipzig from abroad is you look in and think: young manager, really energetic style of football, lovely story, they’ve come from nowhere in a very short period of time.

“But if you look at how they’ve done it, they’ve either side-stepped or trampled over the membership rules that are treated very seriously in German football. 

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“So the importance of fans having a voice in the club, it’s not considered here.

“Everyone in Germany is wishing them failure, because you think: ‘If this does well, who’s going to follow them?’

“It’s basically a marketing strategy for a drinks brand, that’s what this club exists as.

“And PSG, far worse. They’re run by a regime, which faces allegations of anything from torturing journalists to imprisoning gay people and a host of other human rights abuses.

“So if you approach a game and see the result as a validation or vindication of the behaviour of the owners or the club, maybe this is not the game for you.”

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