Anger mounts over Super League breakaway

April 20, 2021

Reaction surrounding the announcement of a 12-team breakaway Super League has been swift and unanimous in condemning the idea. Here’s a roundup of some of the major voices in football who have reacted to the developments.

The 12 teams who have signed up for the Super League and who are now threatening to tear football apart, are: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.

Latest reports say that two English clubs – claimed to be Chelsea and Manchester City – are already getting “cold feet” over the way the announcement was handled, with one chief executive telling Sky: “This is not what we signed up for” and alleging ringleaders Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid bullied them into it.

Other reaction includes:

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin: “They don’t know s*** about solidarity. They spit in the face of football lovers. We didn’t know we had snakes working close to us, but now we know.”

Fifa president Gianni Infantino: “Yesterday we heard and read about war, crime, terrible worlds, even more terrible if linked with the game we all love, that should give joy to everyone. I am speaking about the Super League project. Let me be extremely clear, Fifa is an organisation built on true values of sport, statutes which define institutional framework with the pyramid. We can only and strongly disapprove of a Super League which is a closed shop, a breakaway from current institutions.”

Brighton: “Brighton & Hove Albion are totally opposed to plans for a breakaway European Super League as it would destroy the dreams of clubs at every level of the domestic game. These plans are the latest in an alarming and growing list of clandestine attempts from a small group of clubs whose actions would be wiping out close to 150 years of football’s tradition, competition, and sporting progress through merit.”

Everton: “Everton is saddened and disappointed to see proposals of a breakaway league pushed forward by six clubs. Six clubs acting entirely in their own interests. Six clubs tarnishing the reputation of our league and the game. Six clubs choosing to disrespect every other club with whom they sit around the Premier League table. Six clubs taking for granted and even betraying the majority of football supporters across our country and beyond.”

David Beckham: “I’m someone who loves football. It has been my life for as long as I can remember. As a player and now an owner I know that our sport is nothing without the fans. We need football to be for everyone. We need football to be fair and competitions based on merit. Unless we protect these values the game we love is in danger.”

Eric Cantona: “The fans are the most important thing, they have to be respected. Did these big clubs ask their fans what they thought about this idea? No, and that’s a shame.”

Alan Shearer: “They have thrown a hand grenade. Let’s throw one back and ban them. When you look at the reaction over the last 36 hours, common sense would tell you that these clubs will have to go away and think, ‘Have we really done the right thing here?’. Where are these owners? Why don’t they come out and face the media and tell us why they’ve done it, why they want a closed shop that no-one else can get into?”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and club captain James Milner both said that they do not support the breakaway.

Anas Laghrari, general secretary of the Super League: “We want to create [a platform for] the best football. A competition that everyone wants to see, that makes people dream. The younger generations are less interested in football, they focus on playing on their console or whatever and only log in for the big games. But these big games rarely happen.”

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