Posted: 5/19/2012
Title: DAY OF INFAMY IN THE CITY OF LIGHT (correction)!!


      May 26th, 1975 and the final of The European Cup at The Parc des Princes in Paris, the City of Light.

     Defending champions FC Bayern Munich had won in Brussels, Belgium a year before. They had tied Atletico Madrid in the previous year 1-1 before winning the replay 2 days later in the same half empty stadium 4-0.

     Their challengers in 1975 were Leeds United, who had beaten Barcelona in the semi-finals and after Don Revie had left to manage England, there was a disasterous appointment of Brian Clough, who hated everything United and Revie stood for. It didn't last long before he was replaced by Jimmy Armfield who was in charge for the final.( As a side point, I went to high school with Armfield, and earned my coaching licence under Cramer).

     It was also a time of part time referees and massive 'gifts' from Italian and Spanish clubs in particular, to referees.  England had lost 2-0 to Italy in Turin, where the referee and both linesmen were each given a new Fiat car by the hosts. (more difficult these days with 6 of them to pay off). Most of the time they would give expensive gold watches to the officials-before the match of course.

     At the 1973 European Cup Winners Final in Athens, Leeds United played AC Milan. They scored thre goals which were all whistled offside by referee Christos Michas, who was later banned for life. It was called 'Floodlit Robbery' and the Greek spectators booed as Milan received the trophy after a 1-0 win.

     In the first half in Paris, United played the Germans, coached by Dettmar Cramer, off the Parc despite their line up including Beckenbauer, Muller, Maier etc who had won the World Cup for West Germany the year before. After 23 minutes Beckenbauer handled in the box but got away with it. In the 34th minute he tripped Alan Clarke who was denied a penalty.  After 62 minutes Peter Lorimer scored, before Franz Beckenbauer dragged referee Michel Kitabdjan over to the linesman, who had not raised his flag, and he changed his mind.

     It got nasty after that, on the pitch and in the stands.  Terry Yorath stepped on Bjorn Andersson's ankle and broke it. Uli Hoeness was tackled harshly by Frank Gray. The English fans tore seats from the concrete foundations and hurled them onto the pitch. A police dog went into the crowd and it was strangled and thrown over the fence. In the streets afterwards there was criminal damage. Frank Roth and Gerd Muller scored to retain the cup 2-0.

     The Bavarians made it three in a row at Hampden Park, Glasgow in 1976 with a 1-0 win over St. Etienne of France. They would not win again for 25 years, until they beat Valencia on pk's in 2001.

     Leeds United were banned from Europe for four years, reduced to two years, a reduced penalty after Armfield had flown to UEFA HQ in Bern to plead for leniency. However, it was never applied since United didn't get back into Europe until 1991.