European Super League proposal a stab in the back to the sport we hold so dear

It has been bubbling away in the background for months. But finally last night the hammer blow was dealt, a new European Super League was announced with 15 founding clubs. This league has guaranteed automatic qualification for all founding clubs. There will be mechanisms in place for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season. Yes, you read that right, only 5 other teams across the whole of Europe. However, the European Super League are still courting some of the biggest teams in Europe such as PSG, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund meaning if those three teams join up, the league will have 18 founding clubs and only two other teams across the whole of Europe able to qualify for it. It is a closed shop competition, only for the ‘elite’ teams.

The audacity within the announcement from the European Super League to suggest that this kind of closed competition model would somehow benefit the wider football pyramid, it is utter nonsense. The rich clubs get richer and everybody else suffers. Meritocracy dies. The whole concept of what sport actually is becomes obsolete. The proposal can best be described as a glorified friendly competition. The backlash from fans across the world is testament to that. They have been stabbed in the back in this power play by 15 elite clubs.

The league itself is being financed by JP Morgan. How have we have found ourselves in a position where the most popular European sport is being dictated by men in suits on the other side of the world? Anybody who truly loves football could not possibly support such an idea. The Governance around the league is equalling appalling. The chairman of the league Florentino Pérez is also the President of one the clubs in the league, Real Madrid. Andrea Agnelli the chairman of Juventus, was also Chairman of the European Club Association until yesterday, which is a representative body of 246 sides across Europe. He is now vice-chairman of the new league. Meaning Agnelli was actively undermining the position he has held for the past few years. An act of utter betrayal for all clubs whom he was meant to represent. The formation of this league has been done in the most distasteful of circumstances. Driven by greed, corruption, betrayal, and a total disregard for fans.

The seismic announcement even attracted the attention of number 10, Boris Johnson who condemned the league for the inevitable damage it will cause to football throughout the whole pyramid, from grassroots up. You could probably count on one hand the number of people who support this league. The backlash has been fierce, but far more must be done. Clubs, players and fans around the world must condemn such a move. The weight that would carry if a player from one of the elite clubs involved in the league came out against the idea. Most notably PSG, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have rejected the new league. At least in the case of the two German clubs, fans hold a majority of shares within the club.

Aside from being a big fan of my local team Dundalk FC, I am also a massive Tottenham fan. So you can imagine how I feel today seeing my own club being a part of this breakaway league. The level of arrogance which borders on laughable that Tottenham consider themselves part of the European Elite. They may need deep reminding of their roots and also of their current state. A shameful day for my once beautiful football club. It is an embarrassment.

It has been summarised across media this morning as a ‘War on Football’, an all too accurate assessment. The people who designed this model of a league are driven purely by money. Nothing else. Such a breakaway league also makes the Champions League redundant. We could go from having Barcelona vs Liverpool titan matches in the Champions League to Sassuolo vs Southampton. TV broadcasters will play a huge role for these plans to proceed. Choosing whether or not to spend eye watering millions to buy the rights to stream these games will make or break the proposal.

It is a sad day for football. The clubs that have signed up for this league have sold their souls. For only fans are not in stadiums, the true scale of displeasure cannot be seen. It is time for fans to unite and lead a campaign of fierce opposition. It is time for fans to wrestle back control.

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