European Cup Finals 1956 - 1959
Sixteen teams took part in the inaugural European Champions Cup (to give it its full, official title), selected by the french football magazine, L'Equipe. Chelsea were among the original invitees but declined, in part because of the active discouragement of the Football league. The competition was a organised on a straight forward knock-out format, each tie being played over two legs. If the aggregate scores were tied, a play-off was arranged, with extra time if necessary. If score were still level, the winner was decided by the toss of a coin. The first round pairings were set by the organisers but in all subsequent tournaments, they would be drawn.