COMMENT: We must stop these clubs from trying again one day

They say a week is a long time in politics as events can move so fast. Well in football, a heck of a lot can happen in just a few days.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 12:04 am

On Sunday night six English clubs made the shock announcement that they were joining a new closed shop European Super League along with clubs from Spain and Italy.

Today their nakedly avaricious plans, made after zero consultation with the fans, players or managers, lie in ruins.

So fierce has been the backlash that Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs have all done a volte-face and abandoned the idea.

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Though Barcelona and Real Madrid are still standing, the whole ill-fated concept was dead in the water as soon as the English clubs pulled out.

Thought the ESL was all over? It is now.

The shamed six were left with little option when fans turned on them and prime minister Boris Johnson vowed the government would do all it can to make sure the ESL didn't go ahead in its planned form.

Owners realised that widespread condemnation was causing the clubs 'reputational damage'. The game was up.

Angry supporters saw it as betrayal on a grand scale, a cosy scheme for these mega-rich clubs to make even more money at the expense of devaluing other leagues and competitions and impacting on every club right down to the grassroots.

But will they try again one day?

This feels like a watershed moment for football. Legislation and regulation must be put in place to prevent them ever doing so.

Those clubs made wealthy by the Premier League and Sky money must now do more to reconnect with all those people who have felt increasingly disenfranchised by the teams they follow.

It's time for football to be about fans as well as finance.