Fans Aren’t For Sale But Football Might Be

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When the European Super League first hit the headlines, particularly given its closed book and uncompetitive status, the reaction from fans across the continent was nigh on identical and in lock step – the ESL was not wanted, and nor was it accepted.

The clubs who originally announced their intentions to take part had to incredibly swiftly, and apologetically, withdraw leaving only Barcelona and Real Madrid as the true believers of the project. Juventus are on paper still involved, but they are on record as wanting nothing to do with it.

This week the European Court of Justice finally ruled on whether or not it was lawful for associations and UEFA to ban clubs from competing – which it obviously was. But even in saying that, quite what the backers of the ESL think they have won here is slightly beyond most football fans.

The originally linked clubs who backed out, very quickly re-stated their complete opposition to the idea given the fan reaction and protests that had taken place at the beginning, and even though organisers A22 have now come back with a completely revised set of proposals for their ‘competition’ it would not be unkind to say fans themselves continue to view the entire idea of a new midweek competition as being about as useful as a chocolate teapot, despite the changes that have been promised.

Not least because managers in England constantly whine about the number of games that are already played, and domestic Cup competitions are already being downgraded to suit that. We’ve seen the playing of weakened sides for years, and now replays and traditional two legged affairs are being scrapped to suit the wishes of a minority.

It is already very much to the annoyance of the average paying fan, and football has already gone far enough to accommodate the whims of those with a European focus.

For certain clubs to then add to their own fixture congestion with even a revamped new and rival competition, whilst rudely expecting other clubs, and their fans, to simply accommodate their further greed, would still continue to go down like a lead balloon. Not least since pre season campaigns took on a marketing and financial focus instead of what it is supposed to exist for.

UEFA did need a shake up, but their response will no doubt be to pander to some clubs further whilst further ruining the game in the name of making money, but that does not mean the ESL should be the way forward.

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