The announcement of the European Super League has shaken the footballing world, with many fearing that the new era could mark the end.
While UEFA and FIFA have taken the stand against the participating clubs – Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan – the new breakaway league could still see the light.
Here’s how the footballing fraternity has reacted.
Sir Alex Ferguson
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson looks underwhelmed with the announcement as he fears it could take a toll on smaller clubs.
“Talk of a Super League is a move away from 70 years of European club football. Both as a player for a provincial team Dunfermline in the 60s and as a manager at Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, for a small provincial club in Scotland it was like climbing Mount Everest.”
Ex-Man Utd skipper Gary Neville has slammed all the participants including the Red Devils.
“I’m disgusted. It’s an absolute disgrace. We have to wrestle back power from the clubs at the top of this league and that includes my club.”
I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool the most. They’re breaking away to a competition they can’t be relegated from? It’s an absolute disgrace. We have to wrestle back power in this country from the clubs at the top of this league – and that includes my club.
It’s pure greed, they’re impostors. The owners of Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City have nothing to do with football in this country. Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham aren’t even in the Champions League. Have they even got the right to be in there? They’re an absolute joke. Time has come now to have independent regulators to stop these clubs from having the power base. Enough is enough.Gary Neville
Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton manager
Saints manager Hasenhuttl has stated that the new breakaway league is completely unacceptable.
“For me, it’s absolutely unacceptable what is going on behind the scenes. Nobody wants it –- not even the fans of the clubs who want to go there want it.”
Spirit of Shankly – Liverpool Supporters Union
Perhaps, Liverpool supporters union has taken a swipe against their own club for being a founding member, stating that fans are being let down by the decision.
“Embarrassing as fan representatives we are appalled & completely oppose this decision. (Liverpool’s owners) FSG have ignored fans in their relentless & greedy pursuit of money. Football is ours not theirs. Our football club is ours, not theirs.”
Chelsea Supporters’ trust
The big six of Premier League has been at the receiving end, with Chelsea Supporters Trust feeling betrayed by the announcement.
“They say to expect the unexpected, but today the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST), our members and football supporters across the world have experienced the ultimate betrayal.”
However, there has been a fair share of support shown for the European Super League, with the dignities of the founding members speaking in the defence of the proposed competition.
Florentino Perez, Real Madrid president
Florentino Perez, who will assume the chairman role for the Super League, believes the competition would fulfil fans’ desires.
“Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.”
Juventus chief Agnelli
Following the chairman, the vice-chairman of the European Super League as well as the chairman of Juventus Andrea Agnelli spoke in praise of the new league.
“Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies. We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.”
Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid manager
Atletico Madrid is also one of the founding members of the ESL and manager Diego Simeone believes his club would do the best for the future.
“We, the coaches, are ready to coach the clubs. I have no doubt that the club will make the best decision for what is best for the future of the club.”