The Champions League is among the most unbalanced competitions in football, new statistics show.
The latest research from CIES Football Observatory has revealed that 21 per cent of games played across the CL, from the group stages to the final, ended with a three-goal gap or more.
This is the third highest figure among football competitions surveyed by CIES. The Austrian Bundesliga was the second most unbalanced competition, on 21.5 per cent, while the Cyta Championship in Cyprus topped the table with 22.5 per cent.
The Premier League fared better, with 17.7 per cent of its games ending in a three-goal gap or more, but still occupied a position among the top 10 most unbalanced competitions.
The CIES report said: “The big-5 leagues are also in the first half of the most unbalanced competitions.
“This finding reflects the increasing wealth gaps between participating teams.
“To re-balance competitions, the only solution would be to improve the distribution of financial (TV rights) and human (transfer market) resources at both national and international level.”
With the rise of the European ‘super-club’, the Champions League has become increasingly dominated by the same group of sides in the latter stages of the competition.
Indeed, the same nine teams have all appeared in the Champions League final since the turn of the decade.
This sense of repetition is also demonstrated by the fact that the same final, between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, has been played out twice in the past three years.
Barcelona have featured in seven semi-finals in the past nine years while Bayern Munich have appeared in the semi-finals in each of the last five seasons.
Speaking after Real’s Champions League victory last year, Andrew Orsatti, a director and spokesperson for players union FIFPro, said: “Take nothing away from Real Madrid, great club, but at what point will football acknowledge the growing competitive imbalance is unhealthy?”