By Rachael Grealish
Many Cumbrian football fans have spoken out against the news 12 European clubs, including six English clubs, have joined the breakaway league.
It was announced on Sunday evening, April 18, 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 of the European Super League.
Since then The Herdwick News asked Cumbrians what they thought and, although, there were mixed reviews on the whole it seemed many people reject the breakaway league.
Bob Kelly, a Liverpool supporter from Millom, called the move ‘selfish’ and ‘unacceptable’.
He said: “It is a selfish attempt by rich owners to ensure their income remains without risk – cynical and totally unacceptable – and I am a Liverpool supporter.”
Mark Jennings, from Workington, said the ESL is ‘just another way to make money’ – which was mentioned in several comments from Cumbrians about the league.
“It’s a completely ridiculous idea,” Mark said, “Football is a simple game that some people excel at and fans like to attend the matches and enjoy. If there are only 12 teams and no relegations then where is the sport in that? Just another way to make money.”
One man, Chris Bush, also commented on the idea of club owners ‘money making’ and called it all ‘a disgrace’.
He said: “Personally I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the owners of these clubs are attempting to gazump all the true followers of our great game in pursuit of more money for themselves.
“It’s nothing but sheer greed. The teams involved should be docked a minimum of 15 points by the league and if they go ahead with it then their players banned from representing their country in Internationals.
“There’s nothing wrong with the way that the league is at present apart from the big clubs having an influence on referees decisions.”
While another Copeland resident, Patricia Corby, said it was a ‘betrayal’, she said: “Betrayal of fans , it’s been a long time coming but has been on cards for years, all about money.”
Cumbrians aren’t the only ones against the ESL, a snap poll from YouGov showed just how strongly fans feel, with nearly eight in ten (79 percent) of those who follow football opposed to the new league.
This included over two thirds (68 percent) who ‘strongly oppose’ the ESL’s creation.
The poll also showed opposition is highest among fans of the left-behind Premier League teams, with 88 percent of those following a team outside the big six opposed to the European Super League, compared to 76 percent of fans of the big six themselves.
Only 14 percent of football fans are in favour of the new league.
Even among fans of the big six set to be part of the ESL, fewer than a fifth (19 percent) support of its creation.
Yesterday, Monday April 18, Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer were among those speaking out against ESL and since then Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, also expressed his stance against the league.