The proposal for the Super League which was released by clubs at 11.20pm last night, a Sunday night we think illustrates everything you need to know about how this situation has come about.
It appears the clubs involved are trying to do a power grab. The complete picture isn't yet known, this may be a strong arm tactic for more power with UEFA over the soon to be announced new Champions League format.
As a football fan of over forty years this latest development sickens me to the pit of my stomach. The country is still coming through a global pandemic which hundreds of thousand of families have lost loved ones. Peoples mental health is suffering and it looks like the rich want to get richer while the poor get poorer.
This is a Liverpool based website however I'm writing this blog piece as a football fan. A football fan that has grown up watching local Non-League football, the old First Division and the European Cup through to the frenzied gluttonous feeding trough that is modern football of today.
Football changed years ago and this Super League talk could be the final nail in the coffin for football.
Back in the day to enter the European Cup a team had to win their league. What a great idea for a European competition, the best football team from each country playing each other to become the best football team in Europe.
To put the commercialism of football into perspective in 1955/56 there were 16 sides taking part. In 1992/93 the format changed for more clubs to be involved and in the 2019/20 season 79 clubs entered the Champions League.
UEFA would probably argue that these changes made the competition more excited. We'd disagree. History shows this decision has divided the game, the Premier League you could argue is almost divided in three different leagues. Teams find it difficult to break into what the self appointed call the top six.
So what was wrong with the old style of the European Cup which is now the Champions League? We'd argue the competition was much fairer as each club had the chance to try and win their league, something that was lost a long time ago when TV money was started being pumped into the working mans game.
In 1977 Nottingham Forrest were promoted from the old Second Division to the old First Division. The following season they won the double winning the League Title and defeating Liverpool in the League Cup Final. They went on to win the European Cup in 1979 and retained it in 1980. Celtic won the European Cup in 1967, Aston Villa won it in 1982 while Liverpool and Manchester United also had success in the old format of the competition. Has this inclusivity and opportunity happened since? Probably the only thing you could reference is Leicester City winning the Premier League in 2016.
Does Spurs winning the league in 1951 and in 1961 qualify them to be in The Super League over Leicester for example? Arsenal haven't won the league since 2004 but they're in. Everton have won the league nine times and are building a 500 million pound new stadium, what happens to them? Aston Villa have won the league 7 times. Sunderland have won the league as many times as Manchester City and Chelsea. You're beginning to see my issue with this self appointed Super League.
If Liverpool don't finish this season in the top four they don't deserve to be in the Champions League, it's that simple. It could be West Ham and Leicester involved in next seasons Champions League which illustrates this self appointed, none inclusive, elitist, back scratching Super League system which encourages founders aren't relegated as an old boys club.
As a kid who grew up in Liverpool during the late seventies and eighties I'm ashamed the club I've supported passionately would want to be involved in an act that excludes inclusivity and competition. I suppose the signs were there a few years ago when Liverpool Football Club tried to trademark the word 'Liverpool'. They lost that trademark application because people from our city ourselves included fought them over it. LFC were unsuccessful, how can you trademark the name of a City that doesn't belong to you?
Government has come out saying the Super League might not be good for the game. Will they sort it out? Not holding my breathe. This is a Government that has the current Secretary of Health and Social Care allegedly owning a 15% share of a business that won health contracts! Will they look after grass roots football, a sport that has played a part in this countries social environments for over 100 years? What do you think?
I know as I write this there will be millions of football fans fuming about this Super League proposal. These self appointed clubs who want this Super League seem to be missing the main fact here, football isn't theirs to own. Football was a working mans sport, a pass time that you didn't need a second mortgage to participate in going to the match. Club owners are custodians of our clubs, they're suppose to consult and represent their fans.
Liverpool have made various mistakes over the last few years with ticket pricing and furlough decisions. LFC listened to Spirit Of Shankly and fans and reversed their decisions. Will they do that this time with the 3 billion pounds signing on fees being banded around?
Will LFC still be happy to use our anthem You'll Never Walk Alone if they go through with The Super League? Will LFC be happy to keep Shanks woven in the rich tapestry he started to weave for our great club? Or, maybe it'll be LFC that's walking alone?
I've wondered for a while now, if our owners had the choice to issue season tickets or do away with them and sell a different ticket to a different person for each game which choice they'd make?
If this Super League does go ahead, and it's a massive if, all it will do is inflate the value of the clubs involved. How many of these Premiership Club owners are British? How long have they been involved in football in this country? Have they the best interests at heart of our National game? The answers to these questions are embarrassing.
We personally can't see the football family accepting this, there's going to be one hell of a shit storm and rightly so. Let's stick together, put our views across, share our articles across fan platforms and take OUR GAME BACK!
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