There has been widespread criticism and dissent from many soccer fans and spectators around the world at the newly proposed idea of a European Super League. According to RTÉ, ‘six English clubs have agreed to join a controversial breakaway European Super League… The bombshell plan, announced on Sunday, saw United join Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and six other European clubs in creating a rival competition to the Champions League’. The other six European clubs are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
The president of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez is the chair of this new European Super League. According to him, ‘we will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world… Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires’. According to RTÉ, this competition would be financed by US bank, JP Morgan.
According to former Man United defender, Gary Neville, the plans to form a proposed European Super League are an ‘absolute scandal’. FIFA and UEFA have threatened any player that takes part in this competition from not being allowed to represent their nation in any major tournament such as a World Cup or a European Championship.
A joint statement of UEFA, the Football Associations of England, Spain and Italy firmly warned against the idea of a European Super League. ‘If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever… We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening… Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way… This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long… Enough is enough”.
There is only one word to describe this new European Super League: greed. Self-interest of the few which is all about money. It is absolute greed of the highest order and there is no other explanation or excuse that can justify the formation of this competition. It is a complete attack on fairness of competition and the spirit of the game. It speaks volume and sends out a very bad message to fans that 12 clubs came together behind closed doors to form a league amongst themselves that poses significant changes to European football.
Owners of the wealthiest European clubs came together to form a European Super League amongst themselves to boost their profits. Clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United, which were formed by ordinary people are now shamefully taking part in a European Super League, which neglects the attitudes of fans and secures their place in this competition for the long term. A competition where relegation, promotion and European qualification is forgotten about, is nothing short of disgraceful.
As the statement by the EFL, which supports the other statements from the Premier League, UEFA, FIFA, etc, said that, ‘a strong pyramid based on promotion, relegation and ultimately European qualification, is fundamental to our game’s continued success’. Punishments need to be handed down to all those involved in the formation of this European Super League. According to Gary Neville, the Premier League’s ‘big six’ should be deducted points due to them signing up for the controversial European Super League’.
All options need to be explored, including deducting all points from all 12 clubs that are proposing to take part in this European Super League. Strong action must be taken against all of these clubs by FIFA, UEFA, etc. As stated by the statement from UEFA and FIFA, any player who takes part with one of these teams in this league should not be ever allowed to represent their nation ever again.
On a personal note, for my family and I as well as thousands of other fans, who support Liverpool, disappointing does not even come close to describing the ESL. For countless years fans have both invested time and money into the club, by watching games both home and away, believing in the club motto "You'll never walk alone" where fans are just as important as the starting XI.
For Liverpool to forget about the importance of community and enter into a Super League to merely increase their wealth, is infuriating. Whatever happens over the next few months, this competition will be a major change to European football if this goes through.