Gary Megson believes the UEFA Cup will always play second fiddle to the Barclays Premier League.
The Bolton manager claims most clubs in Europe's second-tier competition do not have the financial muscle to compete strongly on both fronts. Megson, who led Bolton to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup a season ago, is not surprised Aston Vila manager Martin O'Neill and Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp decided to filed weakened sides.
"It shows you the pull and the strength of the Premier League, " said the Bolton boss.
He continued: "It is not purely financial but if you win the UEFA Cup it might not be worth as much as your prize money in the Premier League.
"People are talking about a European league. I think it is here now. There are clubs that expect to be in the Champions League and have to be in the Champions League.
"So they buy two teams, one that can win games in the Premier League and another that can win in the Champions League. Most clubs - and certainly the ones in the UEFA Cup - cannot do that.
"You are also playing on a Thursday, travelling back on a Friday and having another game on Sunday makes it difficult. That's what we found last season."
Bolton's European adventure came to an end at the hands of Sporting Lisbon and Megson came under fire for his team selection.
He maintains to this day he made the correct call as his side went on to retain their top-flight status.
"The only thing I was interested in last year was keeping Bolton in the division, " said Megson. "The priority will always be the Premier League and that goes for any club."
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