Ringside View: football’s escape to victory
Fortunately, the curtain was raised on football’s “Packer Circus” in less than 48 hours. We thank the Chelsea fans who demonstrated at the Bridge and pissed off the club owner. We thank British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for threatening the European Super League proposal with a ‘legislative bomb’. Credit to British Royalty for their support in the struggle of the commoners. Credit to Gary Neville, whose denunciation of the Separatist League on the mainstream media was Churchill-esque. Together, all have ensured that football escapes victory.
The proposed Super League went against the two fundamental principles of sport, fair play and fair competition. It was a by-product of greed.
The wealthy owners of six self-proclaimed English super clubs and some of their continental counterparts have shown utter disregard for the fans and, more importantly, for what football stands for.
The world’s most popular sport is a celebration of the collective. For owners of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, however, the bank balance was all that mattered.
Last Sunday, just hours before the clubs announced the creation of the separatist league, Burnley, 17th in the Premier League table, scared United. It was only in the dying moments that United got three points thanks to a third goal. Before that, Arsenal needed an equalizer in the 96th minute to take a point against relegation-threatened Fulham. The value of the Premier League’s Â£ 9.2 billion broadcast rights is due to this competition. It’s the toughest league in the world, which is why fans pay hefty subscription fees to watch the games on TV and the internet. The “miserable-six” did not want this competition to be richer than the others.
Spurs haven’t won the league since 1961. Arsenal haven’t won it since 2004. Currently, they are ranked sixth and ninth respectively in the league table. They don’t have a single European Cup to show. “Silly money” and “suicide bomber spending” have yet to drive City to the top of European football. They had the temerity to bypass Ajax, the club of Johan Cruyff and Rinus Michels, with four European Cups in their trophy cabinet. The also-rans and the nouveau riche saw themselves as a European elite. Ridiculous.
Leicester City sit third in the Premier League table and West Ham United may well be in the top four this season ahead of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham. Leicester City winning the league in 2015-16 after being a 5,000-1 underdog was one of the most emotionally rewarding stories football has to offer. Fair competition has enabled them to overcome obstacles. But the “greedy-six” became uncomfortable. They have closed ranks to ensure that such upheavals do not happen again. The proposed closed store league arose out of their feudal mindset.
The Premier League has condemned the idea of ââthe Super League. “The Premier League condemns any proposal which attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the pyramid of national and European football,” he said in a strong statement.
Too late. The Premier League allowed capitalists, oligarchs and petrodollars to take control of an English community sport; men who were only interested in money and cared a lot about football. Everything came back to haunt the configuration of English football. Greedy owners demanded their pound of flesh.
United legend Gary Neville erupted on Sky Sports in his Super League conviction. “Are they parting with a competition from which they cannot be relegated?” It is an absolute disgrace. We have to fight against the power in this country of clubs at the top of this league – and that includes my club. This is pure greed, they are impostors, âhe said. He has shown the honesty to speak publicly of being an “accomplice” in not raising his voice during the Glazers takeover of United in 2005. The Glazers takeover drained more than a billion dollars. pounds sterling out of the club.
In fact, the less we say about United and Liverpool, the better. A level playing field has allowed United to rise like a phoenix from the wreckage of Munich. Fair competition allowed them to bounce back after being relegated from the former Premier League in 1974. Be careful, the Lancashire railwaymen founded the club under the name Newton Heath.
As for Liverpool, a club that claim to represent the working class of Merseyside, their transition from a second division team to six European Cups came about because a fair system allowed them to march forward.
These owners have rejected the football pyramid. They didn’t want promotion or relegation. They despised one of the four best songs. There was a sense of entitlement, as if they had a God-given right to sit at the high table to be club football’s biggest income generator.
Don’t read too much in their mea culpas. They had no other choice after a heavy defeat. It would be important not to let our guard down. As Neville said, the “scavengers” need to “start” the game. The impending departure of United Executive Vice President Ed Woodward is a good start. He’s always been the Glazers’ man of choice.
In fact, the sextet’s plans – the ‘dirty dozen’ in Europe to be precise – were not well thought out and prisoners of their pride, they underestimated the power of the fans and undermined their footballers and managers. So, with supporters and authorities, a massive vote of thanks to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his City counterpart Pep Guardiola for speaking out against a project designed by their employers. A big applause for United captain Harry Maguire and teammate Luke Shaw for taking on Woodward and then expressing their protest on social media. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has played an exceptional role in uniting footballers in the club’s colors. Harry Kane, the England captain, were you on vacation?
The Super League is now dead and hopefully buried, and every sane mind is celebrating its downfall. And maybe the BCCI will take note as well. It may seem a bit far-fetched at the moment, but the Indian council, which has one of the richest leagues in the world, should never cede control of its property to “outsiders.”