The emergence of a plan for a new continental competition for giant clubs has been met with an explosion of anger
Manchester United and England legend Gary Neville has led the angry backlash criticising clubs who have signed up for a proposed European Super League.
Neville has gone so far as to state that those sides who have signed the proposals should be punished with a points deduction.
His reaction came after bodies such as the Premier League and UEFA condemned the cabal of sides pushing for the new competition.
What did Neville say?
Speaking on Sky Sports, he stated: “They should deduct points off all the teams that have signed up to it. The ‘Big Six’ – deduct points off them all. It’s a joke.”
What do fans think?
Additionally, Football Supporters Europe (FSE), a body representing supporters in 45 UEFA countries, issued a statement.
“Along with the overwhelming majority of fans, Football Supporters Europe is wholly opposed to plans to create a breakaway Super League,” they said.
“This closed-shop competition will be the final nail in the coffin of European football, forsaking everything that has made it so popular and successful – sporting merit, promotion and relegation, qualification to UEFA competition via domestic success, and financial solidarity. It is illegitimate, irresponsible and anti-competitive by design.
“More to the point, it is driven exclusively by greed. The only ones who stand to gain are hedge funds, oligarchs and a handful of already wealthy clubs, many of which perform poorly in their own domestic leagues, despite their inbuilt advantage. Enough is enough.
“FSE calls on football’s governing bodies to act immediately to protect the European game: first, by imposing sanctions on the breakaway clubs; and second, by scrapping proposals to reform UEFA club competitions, which were designed to benefit the same clubs.”
Who else has criticised the plans?
Spanish League president Javier Tebas offered a stinging rebuke to plans on Twitter, stating: “Finally the ‘gurus’ of the superleague PowerPoint are exiting the darkness of the bar at 5am, intoxicated with selfishness and a lack of solidarity. UEFA and European Leagues, La Liga have been preparing and they will get their answer.”
Finally the “gurus” of the superleague PowerPoint are exiting the darkness of the bar at 5AM, intoxicated with selfishness and a lack of solidarity. @UEFA and @EuropeanLeagues and @LaLiga have been preparing and they will get their answer. pic.twitter.com/1l76yNdqs7
— Javier Tebas Medrano (@Tebasjavier) April 18, 2021
The French government are among the largest non-footballing organisations to hit out at the plan, with a statement published by RMC reading: “President of France Emmanuel Macron welcomes the position of French clubs to refuse to participate in a European football super league project threatening the principle of sporting merit.”
Ligue 1 clubs notably refused to agree to the plans, earning praise – along with the Bundesliga – for their stance by UEFA.