Reaction to European Super League proposals

Reaction to the proposed European Super League has been broadly negative, with former players and fans alike criticising the plans for the competition.

12 clubs, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have becoming “founding members” of the new midweek competition, which could start as early as August.

Former Manchester United star Gary Neville responded angrily on Sky Sports yesterday, saying “It’s pure greed, they’re impostors. The owners of Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City have nothing to do with football in this country. Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham aren’t even in the Champions League.

“Have they even got the right to be in there? They’re an absolute joke. Time has come now to have independent regulators to stop these clubs from having the power base. Enough is enough.”

Cork’s Roy Keane also hit out at the proposed competition, calling it “pure greed”.

“It does come back to greed. We’ve seen new ownerships come into the English game, buying Premier League clubs, buying Championship clubs over the last 15, 20 years.

“I agree, it’s greed – that’s the word I’d use to describe it – nothing but greed.

“They couldn’t care less about the football supporter who works hard and supports their club.

“Money – it’s just down to money.

“Obviously, we have heard nothing from FIFA yet but it doesn’t sound good. Let’s hope it is stopped in its tracks because it is just pure greed.

“We talk about the big clubs, but clubs like Bayern Munich are one of the biggest clubs in the world – they have taken a stand. That is a good start.”

UEFA released a statement yesterday, hitting out at the competition.

“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.

“As previously announced by FIFA and the six federations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.

“We thank those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up to this. We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced.

“This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”

FIFA also released a statement yesterday.

“FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favour of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at the global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA.

“In our view, and in accordance with our statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution .

“Moreover, the governing bodies of football should employ all lawful, sporting and diplomatic means to ensure this remains the case.

“Against this background, FIFA can only express its disapproval to a “closed European breakaway league” outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.

“FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play.

“FIFA will, of course, do whatever is necessary to contribute to a harmonised way forward in the overall interests of football.”


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