The last 24 hours have been some of the most unprecedented in football’s history as a sport. Clubs across Europe have caused a shift in the power dynamic that has the potential to change football forever.
Last night, a new club competition – The European Super League – was announced, which would see some of the world’s best known clubs leaving domestic, continental and world competitions in favour of a singular league.
This new competition will involve 12 of the continent’s top teams – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.
We spoke to the senior member of a Manchester United supporters group who used words like “disgust” and “disgrace” when talking about the potential formation of a new breakaway league.
And this is an opinion that seems to be replicated by football supporters the world over.
Manchester United’s Fleetwood Supporters Club secretary, Brian Houten, has spoken exclusively to UCLan Live to give us a taste of what the initial reaction is to the news of the European Super League’s creation.
He spoke out against the Glazer family’s running of the club, saying: “Probably unlike other clubs, we’ve seen this coming from day one, ever since our American ‘friends’ took over the club.
“Their only interest is money, nothing else whatsoever.”
After the Glazer Family took over the Red Devils in 2005, a protest club was formed in FC United of Manchester. Brian is of the opinion that this move by the Premier League clubs could see the same happen at other teams.
“I could see it happening,” he said. “I just feel that this will be the end of football in England as we know it if this is allowed to go ahead.”
This development was not simply an ‘out of the blue’ announcement, the statement came at the time when UEFA were announcing the restructuring of the Champions League which would affect the clubs involved.
Not only will this affect governing bodies at the top of football but will also affect clubs further down the pyramid, at a time when Coronavirus has already seen many clubs face tough times financially.
Brian, a Fleetwood native and follower of Fleetwood Town, has highlighted the effect this could have on smaller clubs, not only in England, but in other countries too.
He said: “From what I have heard, there is no talk of any of the £330 million that these clubs are set to get filtering down to any of the lower leagues.
“It is total greed that has prompted these six English clubs to do this…that’s all it is, these people are money-grabbers.
“I definitely think it will be a complete change in the way football operates.”
As a supporters club, the main role of the organisation is to give fans the opportunity to watch games and follow their team in a group setting. This may be less possible now that the venues and destinations of the Super League teams are considered.
Houten said: “The traditional followers of football have less and less opportunities to get to games and it will only get worse.
“I’ve been to Europe many times, I’ve been to Kazakhstan and places like that and we’ll never get to go to those places again…it’s just such a shame.”
When asked whether the supporters group would boycott the games, Brian said: “On a personal level, I definitely am (and) I would say that most of the people I travel with are of the same mind.”