SUPER LEAGUE: Aston Villa and Birmingham City supporters groups react to the European Super League idea and how it fell apart
Aston Villa and Birmingham City supporters groups react to the European Super League idea and how it fell apart.
The football clubs in the West Midlands put on a united front on Tuesday as they all strongly opposed the idea of a European Super League in which six English clubs would have played in a European competition every year leaving the traditional football pyramid, which is meritocratic and rewards good domestic performance, behind. It added to the widespread condemnation which ultimately resulted in those English clubs deciding to withdraw from the proposal.
The six English clubs who initially had signed a 23 year deal to play in a Super League were Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur who many have labelled the ‘big six’ over the last few years. The plans stated that as ‘founding members’ the clubs would play in the competition every year irrespective of performance.
The anti-competition and anti-jeopardy element was met with a huge amount of negativity. The current English football pyramid system means that any club can work their way up to the Premier League and then if they were to finish in the top 4 would qualify for the UEFA Champions League to play other European teams that have also qualified through their domestic competitions. Many Premier League clubs, including Aston Villa and Wolves, have ambitions of being able to qualify by finishing in the top 4 and both Leicester City and West Ham United are currently involved in a tight race for those positions in the 2020/21 season.
Tuesday evening saw each of the ‘big six’ withdraw from the plans to play in the Super League following a day where the entire footballing world came together to denounce it, including our clubs in the West Midlands.
Aston Villa released a statement saying, “Aston Villa stands alongside all the clubs, supporters groups and the entire football family who have condemned the plans to create a so-called European Super League. We are not standing idly by allowing the dreams of Aston Villa fans to be taken away by this sinister scheme. Working along with fellow members of the Premier League and its Board we have today agreed to consider a range of punitive actions against those clubs and their executives who are involved.”
West Bromwich Albion also condemned the idea by saying, “As a founder member of The Football League in 1888, the club believes in the principles of fair competition; in allowing all fans to dream that this year could be their year, and with that, the knowledge that poor performance may bring the consequences of relegation. A closed league is not one that any club outside of the so-called “Big Six” can endorse, and one it is apparent no genuine football fan – even if they follow one of those six teams - can support.”
We spoke to representatives from both the Aston Villa supporters trust and the Blues supporters trust as well as a Wolves fan about how they felt their clubs had been treated by the ‘big six’ announcing plans on Sunday and what action they would like to see taken now they have withdrawn their participation, with everything from a points deduction to a complete government review of how football clubs are run being discussed widely.
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