Opinion

Time for fans to challenge the 'dirty dozen' as Super League looms

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The stunning announcement that Europe's richest and most powerful clubs will start a European Super League "as soon as practicable" has drawn widespread condemnation from the world at large.

Twelve clubs from England, Spain and Italy have sold their millions of fans down the river and decided to form a breakaway midweek competition that has sparked an outright war.

The 'dirty dozen' are Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Liverpool from the Premier League, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid from La Liga and Juventus, AC Milan and Internazionale from Serie A.

Three more clubs are expected to join shortly.

A statement from the self-proclaimed founding members reads "for a number of years the founding clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis".

This move that is a result of blatant greed and selfishness has been long coming but now that it's here it comes as a shock to the system.

Make no mistake, it has the potential of destroying the game as we know it.

Which is why fans around the world - particularly those who follow the rebel clubs - must fight hard to save their game and resist the temptation to stay loyal to an organisation that could not care any less about them.

World governing body FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA have already condemned the plan that would jeopardise domestic competitions.

UEFA, in conjunction with its member federations including those of England, Spain and Italy, has threatened to call the rebel clubs' bluff and ban them from their domestic competitions.

FIFA has said it could ban Super League players from taking part in intentional competitions like the World Cup and European Championship and probably other regional tournaments like the Copa America, Asian Cup, Gold Cup, Africa Cup of Nations and Oceania Nations Cup.

This would seem like a great opportunity for football to tell the greedy clubs to bugger off and concentrate on efforts to clean up the mess without having to deal with the tentacles of a mean body that has been trying to undermine everything that the game has stood for since day one.

I'm not sure, however, if the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A would cope without its stalwart clubs. Which is why the game could be in serious trouble.

The recalcitrant clubs never had it so good. The current Champions League is a fabulous competition that rewards its winners - and mere participants, I might add - handsomely but still the big clubs are not happy and want more. Now they want out.

They want the whole cake for themselves so they can gorge on it while the lesser clubs in established football countries are struggling to make ends meet in the midst of the pandemic.

They want to create a new European competition to rival the Champions League based on nothing but opportunism and selfishness and to hell with history and tradition.

Manchester United players perished in their quest for the European Cup when their plane crashed in Munich in 1958. Juventus supporters died when they travelled to Brussels for the 1985 final and never went home.

But these two clubs do not appear to care about their rich and colourful history and the millions of fans they represent as they seek to prevail where it matters most ... the bottom line.

These are indeed troubled times for football that was once dubbed the game of the people.

But there is hope amid the doom and gloom.

There is a possibility that the 'news' of an imminent Super League might be just a political ploy from the clubs involved that is designed to force UEFA to give them what they want in terms of a greater share of the Champions League kitty.

However, regardless of the outcome of this ugly chapter in the history of the beautiful game, the overriding feeling is that a wedge has been driven between the rich clubs and those us who have a favourite club team, yes, but enjoy the game for what it is.

Or rather for what it used to be.

Source SBS The World Game