Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has slammed UEFA's Europa League.

Toon are back in Europe for the first time in six seasons on Thursday when they visit Greek side Atromitos in a first-leg play-off.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a critic of the Europa League's Thursday scheduling.

And Pardew said: "That's for sure. We've tried to get on with it without whingeing or moaning.

"The authorities have said that's where it is. There's nothing we can do.

"I don't think I'm alone in thinking the Europa League is misconceived to a degree, in terms of the way it's put together. You play so many games and then the Champions League teams who miss out on the group stages drop down to the Europa League - what's all that about?

"Then there are another lot of games. I think it really needs to be looked at, to be honest.

"There isn't a lot of money in it, not unless you win the thing. Not compared to the Premier League.

"But we will try to win every competition we're in.''

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