The last 24 hours has seen a widespread level of disgust aimed at some of Europe’s elite clubs. News of a “Dirty Dozen” of teams attempting to break away, forming their own Super League have circulated, a list that includes teams such as: Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Gary Neville, Roy Keane and a host of other Football greats have had their say on this idea, with calls of the integrity of the sport being brought into question. Neville said he was “Absolutely disgusted”, adding that the Super League has been “Rightly damned”. Keane echoed Neville’s comments by saying: “Its greed, that’s the only word I’d use to describe it, nothing but greed. They (the owners) couldn’t care less about the football supporter who works hard and supports their club”.
The opinion of Keane and Neville seem to be shared by the vast majority, in fact it seems a difficult task to find any respected football figure unopposed to this ludicrous idea. News broke earlier today announcing Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho had been sacked. With the official club statement stating no reason for the sacking and Spurs just days away from a Cup final, speculation has spread on social media claiming Mourinho refused to train his players on the back of the Super League announcement. If true, this proves just how big of an impact the Super League announcement will have on football with most managers sharing the same opinion as Mourinho on the matter.
With supporters of this new league seemingly non-existent, who exactly is behind this insurrection? Football owners have long had a reputation for greed and proving money hungry but this may top all previous acts. Manchester United chief executive Ed’ Woodward- who works closely with owners Joel and Avram Glazer- has come under fire in the last 24 hours. UEFA President, Aleksandr Ceferin mentions Woodward in a statement he released earlier today, addressing the break-away league. He said: “I was a criminal lawyer for 24 years, but I’ve never, ever, seen people like that. If I start with Ed Woodward, he called me last Thursday saying that he’s very happy with reforms and he fully supports them. Obviously, he already signed something else”. Ceferin went on to condemn the clubs who seek this new league, calling it a “Spit in the face of all football lovers”. The President also announced that players of the rebelling clubs will be banned from any UEFA competitions. When asked about the possibility of players missing out on Euro 2020, he said: “We will take all sanctions that we can, and we will inform you as soon as we have a clear answer. My opinion is that, as soon as possible, the players have to be banned from all our competitions.
“I cannot stress more strongly UEFA and the footballing world are united against this disgraceful, self-serving proposal we have seen, fuelled purely by greed”.
This is the narrative being painted by the media, however, there are some who don’t think the dramatic changes this would bring to Football are any worse than what is already happening. Sky pundits have wholly condemned the idea of the Super League, adding the fact it is at a time where society is seemingly at its lowest due to Coronavirus struggles. However, let us not forget it is Sky who charge fans £15 to watch a single game. This is not Fans vs Billionaires, this is Billionaires vs Billionaires. One set wants a new league and a revamp of Football, the other is already charging fans abhorrent amounts of money and has fears of losing its Golden Goose- in the form of the clubs demanding change. As the great Jock Stein once said
Football without the fans is nothing