‘Every club should be able to progress on merit’
Football in every country is dependent on an aspirational pyramid based on promotion and relegation. There are no self-selected elites and every club should be able to progress through the ranks on merit. The same logic applies to both the Champions League and the Europa League. The proposed European Super League, based on the unmitigated greed of a band of smug, self-important and exclusive clubs, will undermine the entire structure and destroy fans’ hopes that one day their team could be “up there”.
I have supported Leicester City for nearly 60 years and there are few clubs that exemplify this better. Assuming the Super League goes ahead, not only should Uefa ban the 12 clubs from its competitions but the FAs of England, Italy and Spain should immediately ban them from participating in their respective top flights. Paul Andrews, 66, academic and Leicester fan
‘Working-class supporters are being betrayed by greedy owners’
I am completely furious and feel deep shame. I’ve supported Liverpool since the 1960s and I never dreamed that the fierce working-class supporters would be betrayed by greedy out-of-touch owners. Whatever happens now it will leave a bitter taste of shame. This won’t bode well for anyone – including kids like me who never missed a home game until I went to university.
Prices for attendance and television will rocket and the lack of competition will give other clubs no chance of promotion. The whole game is changing because of money. I used to get the train to Southampton to watch Liverpool in the early 1970s and no kid or single parent could afford that now anyway. Suzie Wilde, 66, author and Liverpool fan
‘It will be boring for most traditional European fans’
My team Roma is deeply entrenched in the city and in the lives of ordinary citizens. The American owners have not been successful in bringing titles here – they are distant and distracted. They see a football team only as a money-making machine; players come and go and you hardly remember most of them.
It’s just a natural and logical consequence of a business model that was introduced some decades ago: football as a global industry without roots and traditions. I am happy Roma have not been invited and I hope we will never be part of it. The beauty of the game is the exceptional matches that everybody talks about after years, and sometimes decades. Creating more games does not mean more quality, more interest and more affection. It will be boring for most traditional European fans. Roberto Mengoni, 53, manager in central government and Roma fan
‘My Newcastle top is in the post’
I’ve supported Manchester United since I was a kid, when my dad first took me to watch. I saw Andrei Kanchelskis that day and have worn the No 14 on every football shirt I’ve owned since. But I have never felt so detached from that memory as when this story broke. I am under no illusion that Manchester United has been run as a business for many years, but at the heart of it there was always a team that went out at the weekend and played in front of the Stretford End, full for the most part of local, working-class people, while other stands became increasingly filled with football tourists.
I agree with Gary Neville; these clubs should be punished immediately. They should be completely ostracised from the footballing community. No international call-ups for their players, no Champions League, no World Cup. But I worry that the footballing bodies are too reliant on these big clubs to increase their revenues that they will eventually fold to their demands. I hope that the reactions from fans, pundits, other clubs, other players show Uefa and the FA that the vast majority of people in the countries where this is happening would sooner pick another club to support than go along with this nonsense. (My Newcastle top is in the post; I hear it’s an experience.)
But the money for these big clubs is from everywhere but Europe. China and the US especially are massive markets and I suspect that’ll be enough for this to happen. I sincerely hope every game in the Super League is played in front of an empty stadium. Jack Crosby, 32, Manchester United fan
‘There are more than six big clubs’
Let those who want to leave go. Expel them from the Premier League, the Football League and the FA. Bar them from the FA Cup, League Cup and European competitions. The Premier League will be just as exciting without the “big six”. There are more than six big clubs in the Championship who will happily fill their places. Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, QPR and so on.
The list of clubs with extensive past glories is enormous and their fans would be only too pleased to see the good times return. Within a couple of seasons the so-called big six will be forgotten, the new ESL will be a disastrous failure and English football will, in the long run, be better off for it. Hopefully it will instigate a fairer sharing of the money across the leagues, rather than concentrating the majority of the wealth in the hands of a few greedy clubs. This could be for the benefit of all football fans across the country. Chris Read, 60, archaeologist and West Ham fan
‘Blatantly cold and cynical’
What strikes me is just how blatantly cold and cynical the establishment of a European Super League is. It’s probably not wrong to say football has been losing its heart and soul over the last 30 years or so, but at least it has been somewhat behind the scenes. We don’t need to think about it, just enjoy the game. Enjoy Leicester winning the Premier League or Wigan winning the FA Cup. Enjoy watching Ajax or Atalanta doing well in the Champions League, or Liverpool’s emotional comeback against Barcelona.
The decision to create an “elite” European Super League shows that these teams do not care about the fans; all they care about is the fans’ money. They could not care less about the game or the history of the clubs they pretend to love. The formation of the Super League, with no risk and no relegation, is anti-competitive, anti-fan, anti-football and fuelled by greed. Peter Brain, 20, student and Preston North End fan
‘I have always wanted to see a European League’
I think it’s a great idea as I have always wanted to see a European League. In 1888 many showed concerns that the Football League would be the “end of football” but like now it was about money and always will be. I hope that it may also be the end of international football, which over the years has become dire – most national teams would struggle in the English third tier. As an armchair viewer of the Premier League and Champions League, my hope would be that the standard would only get better.
Port Vale are not going to figure so I have no team in the fight. I love going there and watching them despite the poor quality but that is another thing altogether. The argument over relegation and so on seems stupid. Do games in the NFL, MLB and so on suffer from it not being a factor? When teams don’t do so well it gives them the opportunity to rebuild without the stress they may go down. The clubs could corner the market in players, but don’t they do that anyway? Leicester and West Ham seem the only ones who have some and if those six left it would mean more opportunity for younger players to come through. Tim Diggles, 67, artist and Port Vale fan