In the history of football, not many events have caused the footballing world to unite in a way the European Super League has done. We have all been together in our disgust, our anger, our shame at money-obsessed, ignorant people attempting to steal the beautiful game right from beneath us.
Florentino Perez, the creator of this monster, truly believed he would save football. In reality, all he was attempting to do was save Real Madrid from a mount of debt. And he used the guise of a ‘better future’ to revive his side. But we didn’t fall for it.
Supporters didn’t fall in line. Perez and co may have expected uproar, but nothing as united as this. Everybody came together. Loyalties went out the window as soon as the knives were lodged into the backs of fans. Instead of supporting clubs, people went back to the fundamentals. They became fans of football.
We live for the potential of underdog victories, West Ham potentially playing at the Bernabeu next season, Leicester City winning the Premier League. Unpredictability is what makes football so special, not 12 of the so-called elite squaring off every week.
When two European giants clash, it is the Christmas of football. But you can’t have Christmas every day- the magic will soon fade away as the spectacle becomes the norm.
This week could have been remembered as football’s death. Instead, it will be known as the week in which football united to make a collective stand.
The European Super League: The Idea That Brought Fans Together in Protest
Players Used Their Voice
When people are in a position of power, with that power or money set to increase, they’ll usually remain silent. But not in English football.
Every player grows up dreaming of winning the Champions League, the World Cup, the Premier League. Not a competition that lacks any meaning. Not a competition without any history, not the European Super League.
It was a mere fantasy idea from people with no interest in saving the game but for lining their pockets ever deeper instead. That is not football. Football is the people’s game. Without fans, football is nothing. The last 48 hours have proved that. The last year has proved that. The players were once fans themselves, hence their stance on the situation.
The kids that once dreamed of winning the aforementioned trophies were on the verge of seeing that dream ripped away and turned into a nightmare. And so they spoke out, no matter the consequence, because, above everything, the integrity of the game takes priority.
They chose their dreams over the scandalous power-obsessed owners. They chose football. When Liverpool wasn’t backing down, Jordan Henderson and his teammates sent out a defying message: Marcus Rashford, Kevin de Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and, several others also sent a statement.
Bigger Problems Need the Same Action
Those who masterminded the so-called super league must have been deluded to believe that the players, once fans themselves, would fall in line. This is a lesson learnt and an example of what a group of people united against something can do. Perhaps it’s time to take the same action in regards to larger societal problems such as racism?
Or is it only when money is involved that it matters to UEFA, FIFA and the government?
As for UEFA and FIFA, they may take the moral high ground in this situation, but they are far from innocent in the world of football. FIFA made sure a World Cup would be hosted in Qatar, where migrant workers have died just building the stadiums. And what for? Money.
UEFA have just proposed a new format for the Champions League. A format, it must be said, which looks awfully familiar to the dying idea of the European Super League- an idea everyone in football united against.
From 2024, 36 teams will be included instead of 32. Instead of group stages, there will be one league(sound familiar?), and the best eight of that league will qualify for the knockout stages. If it didn’t sound similar to the Super League before, then perhaps the fact that elite clubs will be given new spots if they fail to qualify will convince you.
Stand Against European Super League Only the Start
The ramifications from the European Super League and the attempted formation of it will hit clubs hard. Some fans will never look at the owners the same again.
Liverpool players more or less turned their back on the owners with their statement. The fans had already done that long before the players spoke up, leaving FSG in dangerous territory.
But they won’t be alone in no man’s land. They’ll be joined by the rest of English football’s new-found villains, and rightfully so. This moment could go down as one of the most defining moments in English football history if the next steps are taken correctly.
It is a critical time for fans to continue to voice their opinions against corporations. The uproar against the European Super League must not be the end. It must be the beginning.
The idea acts as a warning to football of what it might become in the future. The next steps are crucial towards no such concept ever stepping foot in the beautiful game.
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