By Rachael Grealish
Football giants are being hit by politicians as both the Prime Minister and Sir Keir Starmer have both spoken out against the clubs joining the breakaway European Super League.
Boris Johnson and his opposition leader are seemingly on the same page as they’ve both attacked the clubs calling the move ‘damaging’ and saying it ‘diminishes competition’.
Johnson took to Twitter to say the clubs ‘must answer to their fans’.
He said: “Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action.
“They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country. The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps.”
Starmer, on a very similar page to the PM, said the clubs must rethink or ‘should face the consequences of their actions’.
“The reason why football is the most important and loved sport across the globe is because it is a simple game anyone can play and anyone can enjoy,” he said.
“Even in this era of ‘super clubs’, we still see incredible moments, results and upsets. And even if results don’t go your way, well, there’s always next season.
“The ‘super league’ proposal leaked today cuts across all the things that make football great. It diminishes competition. It pulls up the drawbridge. It is designed for and by a small elite.
“But worst of all, it ignores the fans. Football in empty stadiums hasn’t been the same over the last year. I can’t wait to get back to games. But this proposal risks shutting the door on fans for good, reducing them to mere spectators and consumers.
“The clubs involved in this proposal should rethink immediately. And if they don’t, they should face the consequences of their actions. Because football without fans is nothing.”
This comes after twelve leading European football clubs – including six from England – announced thet are joining the new midweek European Super League.
A joint statement read: “Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new midweek competition, the Super League, governed by its founding clubs.
“AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs.
“It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.”
A further three ‘founding clubs’ are being sought to take the total to 15, with another five able to qualify annually for the planned 20-team annual tournament.
However, this caused a storm of backlash, not only from politicians but ex-Manchester United player, Gary Neville, said he was ‘disgusted’.
He told Sky News: “I’m a Manchester United fan and have been for 40 years of my life but I’m disgusted, absolutely disgusted.”
The Premier League also wrote directly to its 20 clubs to urge them to walk away ‘before irreparable damage is done’, it’s been reported and the Football Association and Uefa gave a warning that it would not sanction a breakaway – meaning that players and clubs could no longer compete in other official competitions.