The European Super League is dust. For now, at least.
It took a grand total of two days for the white hot anger of football fans up and down the country to condemn the plans of the 12 breakaway clubs, with Chelsea and Manchester City the first to withdraw.
Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United followed within hours.
The proposals may have enjoyed all the longevity of Gary Neville’s continental managerial career, but the fury directed at the ‘big six’ will take a little longer to die down.
Six billionaires have been forced to back down, but it won’t be forgotten that they posed a dangerous and imminent threat to the national game.
Had they continued with their plans, it was possible that they would have been expelled from the Premier League due to the top flight’s regulations on competing in unauthorised competitions.
What now, then? The likes of Daniel Levy, John Henry, Sheikh Mansour, Stan Kroenke, Roman Abramovich and the Glazers might want to return to business as usual – but football fans aren’t ready to move on just yet.
On Tuesday night, Graeme Souness discussed talk of a potential points deduction for the six clubs in the Sky Sports studio. When asked if he thought there should be repercussions, Souness replied:
“No. Who are you punishing? If you punish the club, you’re really punishing the supporters. The players have done nothing wrong, the supporters have done nothing wrong. The people at the top will be punished by the supporters themselves.
“They can’t go to the games anymore, or if they do – good luck. Certainly in Liverpool, I can talk with some authority there, I think it’s impossible for those guys to turn up at Anfield ever again.”
That’s all well and good – but English football has a precedent when it comes to teams being punished with points deductions for far less cynical enterprises. The following clubs have all been penalised in that manner in the past:
Wrexham, Leeds, Boston, Portsmouth, Cambridge, Rotherham, Luton, Bournemouth, Dagenham, Southampton, Stockport, Palace, Plymouth, Port Vale, Coventry, Bolton, Wigan, Birmingham, and Sheffield Wednesday.
Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri wants the Toffees’ Premier League rivals hit in the same way (h/t talkSPORT) – and he isn’t alone.
Let’s take a look at some of the reaction on social media:
If going into administration and encountering financial difficulty – sometimes through no fault of their own, in other cases through irresponsible ownership – can bring about points being docked, then surely the big six should be fearing the same chastisement?
Their boards have been accused of bringing the game into disrepute and had the Super League gone ahead, 86 other clubs would have been affected too, not just their own.
It will certainly be interesting to see whether the football authorities choose to make a stand.
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