May 14, 2021

Man Utd

News

Fans fiercely voice anger at European Super League – with one trust calling plan ‘ultimate betrayal’

4 min read

The backlash from English fans was fast and fierce. Even if the European Super League never gets off the ground, this will leave a scar on the people’s game.

It is proof of what many have identified for years as football fleeced its supporters via ticket prices and merchandise while fiddling kick-off times to suit their TV paymasters. 

It is clear the match-going fans no longer matter to those in control of the most prestigious clubs in the country. Sportsmail sampled the anger circulating among those who feel betrayed by the rebels.

Fans of the 'Big Six' of English football have voiced their outrage at the European Super League

Fans of the ‘Big Six’ of English football have voiced their outrage at the European Super League

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are the six

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are the six

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust branded it the ‘ultimate betrayal’, Arsenal’s the ‘death of everything football should be about’ and Tottenham’s reminded ENIC that they were ‘mere custodians of a 139-year institution’. 

Arsenal

Dear Arsenal Football Club, Kroenkes and all the Board.

You are an absolute disgrace. We are not a Big Six club any more thanks to you, our greedy owners who recruit so badly. Look at the table. We will be out of Europe next season when we go out in the Europa League semi-finals. Yet you think we are a Big Six club. We are not even top 10.

You are turning us into a laughing stock. This is money before everything. Get out of our club. If you think the fans of these clubs will put up with this, you are so wrong. We will make sure you haemorrhage money by not renewing season tickets and buying merchandise.

Ian Morris, an Arsenal fan of 50 years and a season ticket holder for 30 years. 

This Arsenal supporter demonstrated against the plan at the Gunners' stadium, The Emirates

This Arsenal supporter demonstrated against the plan at the Gunners’ stadium, The Emirates

I feel devastated and outraged. I was heavily involved in setting up Arsenal Fanshare — custodianship in football, letting fans own as much of their club as possible. An Arsenal share was about nine grand, so we set up a scheme where you could contribute from £10 a month so you could own a portion of a share. 

We became the third largest shareholder in Arsenal, people who inherited or wanted to sell their share would sell to us. It was all going great until Stan Kroenke rocked up and basically forced all those fans to sell to him, with literally no choice but to do it.

That’s important, because this whole Super League thing seems to force the club further away from the fans with no discussion or voting because rich middle-aged millionaires want to make even more money. We are really in danger here of losing what is central to football: passion, love and sense of pride. Values.

Martha Silcott, Arsenal fan and member of the AST 

Chelsea

Chelsea fan Harry Groves, from Dorset, launched an online petition with change.org and soon collected more than 30,000 signatures backing his call to block the breakaway and give fans a voice. 

Manchester United fans also laid protest banners outside Old Trafford in response to the move

Manchester United fans also laid protest banners outside Old Trafford in response to the move

Manchester United 

Dear Beloved United

This is a betrayal of the league which made you famous… it is also a betrayal of the fans. At school, I sold tickets for the Manchester United Development Fund. I cried for days after Munich.

Had a pint with George Best in the Trafford Bowl after a game. Went AWOL from the Army in 1965 to watch Benfica at Old Trafford. I missed four goals against West Brom in 1970 because my wife was in the toilets throwing up with morning sickness.

I was drunk as a skunk with my three boys in 1999, Treble year. Now the club is deserting its roots for money. Who are we? We’re just fans, we don’t count any more, we are irrelevant.

As soon as the papers are signed for this new league, I’ll be gone, as will our three boys and all our grandchildren. We’ll pop over the hills to Leeds or up to my mates in Padiham to watch Burnley. United will be in our past, I will burn my shirts.

Geoffrey Taylor (United fan for more than 60 years) 

Protests continued at the Leeds versus Liverpool Premier League match on Monday evening

Protests continued at the Leeds versus Liverpool Premier League match on Monday evening

Tottenham 

This isn’t what football is about. My grandfather Bobby Buckle would have been horrified by it because it smacks of big business and not football as a sport. It is similar to the issue that led to his split from Spurs, as he wanted more football representation on the board, and that was in 1902.

It’s against all the traditions of football in England, where you look forward to matches like the north London derby or West Ham. Back in the day, one of the big games for Tottenham was Millwall, where Bobby didn’t like to play because they tried to kick him over the wall. This fixture was so important that Spurs bought shares in Millwall to keep them afloat.

Now we see this circling of the wagons and saying we want a guaranteed income for our business and it’s not a football club for the foreseeable future. The people who benefit won’t be the fans.

Michael Mackman, grandson of Bobby Buckle, founder of Tottenham Hotspur 

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