The vociferous protests which took place from ordinary football fans in this country last year when Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham signed up to join the European Super League caused the owners of those clubs to back down and withdraw from the discussions taking place.
If anyone thought that was the end of the matter, then that is naive in the extreme. Greed and self-interest will ensure that is not the case. You only have to look at the finances involved and the sheer disregard the six clubs displayed for their fellow Premier League clubs to see that if other European clubs resurrect the proposal, they will make themselves available to be involved in discussions doubtless on the premise the format proposed in 2021 is to change.
In recent days and weeks, the owners of Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid have spoken openly about their support for a European Super League (ESL). Such is the financial mayhem around these clubs that they see this as their only route to improved financial stability. Added to this the broadcasting revenues for the Premier League far outweigh what clubs in Spain and Italy earn, but if the ESL comes about that will rebalance broadcasting revenues across Europe and will seriously impact upon the finances of the 14 Premier League clubs not seen as part of these discussions.
There will already be private discussions taking place with our so called big six clubs as they seek to impose upon us a league that will for most fans be played out on our television screens.
That is one reason I support independent regulation of the professional game in this country so that fans have a meaningful voice as the key stakeholders in the game. The empty stadia during Covid were a reminder of the importance of fans.
The next big step in progressing the ESL will be affected by the outcome of a case brought against UEFA and FIFA in the European Court of Justice, with the verdict expected just before Xmas. If UEFA and FIFA lose that case the backers of the ESL will be given a massive boost.
It will be interesting to see what public pronouncements will be made in the coming days and weeks by the Premier League and the English FA after these latest developments.
I very much doubt you will hear anything from the owners of the six domestic clubs as the views of their shareholders carry far more weight than those of their fans.
Football is very tribal and most fans understandably only care about the club they support but this is one instance where supporters’ groups need to come together to maintain their opposition to the ESL concept and confine it once and for all to the bad ideas’ wastepaper bin.