Time For The Premier League To Unite And Let The Big Six Go
Monday, 19th Apr 2021 12:36
The announcement that a European Super League is at an advanced stage should come as no surprise to football fans, the European Super Clubs want their cakes and eat it, but for the good of football it is time for the rest of us to throw them out !
It is not a surprise that Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are among 12 clubs who have agreed to join a new European Super League and I have no problem for them to do that, but it should not be at the expense of the rest of the clubs in the Premier League and indeed all of the other European Leagues who have teams that harbour ambitions of joining this elite.
When it came to light that the owners of Liverpool & Manchester United had been plotting behind the backs of even their own boards to form a Super League it was clear that the way they wanted to formulate it was not in the best interests of the rest of us.
They wanted a reduced Premier League and the League Cup to be dispensed with there fore enabling them to take part in two different leagues at the same time without really increasing the number of games played, just making the number they play be against bigger clubs and therefore able to generate more money.
It is therefore time to stand up for the very foundations of our national game and indeed those of all of the European nations, these plans are not in the best interests of anyone other than those in the Super League.
The rest of us will see our incomes reduced and therefore our ability to compete.
But the truth is football is at a crossroads, the Big Six are way above the rest of us and if the Premier League continues as it is , then football as we know it will die, the supporters will grow bored os seeing an elite select few dominate.
So now is the time for all clubs in football to unite and see this proposal as an opportunity to take back our game from the rich few and make it for the masses.
Of course a Premier League without the Big Six would not be as attractive and produce as much revenue as it does now, but that revenue is only relative, Saints might get around £150 million from the Premier League & TV etc but it just means we pay more for average players, if the Premier League revamps itself, revenue will drop but then again so will wages and it will rebalance itself very quickly financially.
A European Super League is not for the supporter who follows his team in person and attends matched whether home or away or at both, it is for the armchair supporter around the world who pays his subscriptions.
Let's be blunt here, we can lay back let this happen and be canon fodder or we can stand up and throw them out and take back our game.
Talking to someone yesterday when the news emerged we both agreed that many Saints fans would be more inclined to go to games if their was more of a chance to be competitive, back in 2010 we were in League One but 55,000 supporters travelled to Wembley for the Johnstones Paint Trophy , at home we still had attendances not much smaller than some in the Premier League, indeed our record crowd is for the final game of the season in 2012 when we played Coventry to secure promotion to the Premier League when 32, 363 squeezed into St Mary's.
Fans want to see their team doing well and they want to see it have a chance of success, look at Everton they have spent on average over £100 million a year on transfers in each of the last 5 seasons, yet they cannot break into the top six or even make it a Big Seven, let's not kid ourselves, the rich have got the monopoly and only occasionally has a team broken it and with each year it gets harder and harder as the rich get richer.
If Saints were playing at Wembley in the FA Cup Final against say Wolverhampton Wanderers next year I guarantee there would be a full house, whichever side won it their fans would be ecstatic, no one would be saying "this doesn't feel right the competition is devalued as Liverpool & Manchester United etc weren't in it"
So this is an opportunity if we take it , a chance for the game to be reclaimed back from faceless Billionaires.
Ironically the people I feel sorry for are the fans of the clubs in the Big Six, although the likes of Liverpool & Manchester United have millions of fans Worldwide, at the core there are still fans who are not armchair supporters, genuine fans who follow their team week in week out and have slowly been pushed aside as their clubs look to maximise their income potential from it's fanbase.
I truly feel for them, like all of us they follow their clubs but they hate what they are becoming, I want to see their clubs thrown out of the Premier League due to their actions, I know that if they are there will be hundreds of thousands of ordinary supporters devastated.
The Big Six know that they cannot survive without fans and they are worried that they will lose supporters and due to that income, hence their desire to stay in the Premier League and throw crumbs to those begging at their table, but enough is enough football needs to unite and not just block the plans, but throw them out of the Premier League now.
If we do that then within a few years football in England would be competitive again, there would not be such a big gap between the Premier League and the Championship, all teams would have a chance of a top 10 finish and challenging for a place in Europe if not a trophy or two, it would not be dominated by an elite and lets be blunt it may be a Big Six but most of them just make up the numbers in terms of winning the League these days.
I also have doubts that a European Super League would prosper on it's own and clearly the clubs fear that as well, the World Club Championships is hardly breaking box office records when they play it and after a while people would tire of seeing the same clubs playing each other season in season out.
The Premier League is still a bigger draw Worldwide than the Champions League, and although a European Super League would dilute that it wouldn't take everything away and lets be honest here, they want everything, every crumb on the table, they want their cake and eat it !
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|Sadoldgit added 12:48 - Apr 19|
Well said. I would also add that, as an armchair supporter myself, I won’t bother to watch any of these games on TV.
|wessexman added 13:00 - Apr 19|
The irony and hypocrisy of the Premier league is breathtaking. When they formed the Prem, it was all about money then. Every fan belly aches about their foreign owner thrashing the club's or country's traditions but cheer him to the rafters when his money buys an expensive foreign import. The football revolution has been fueled by SKY and then Ambramovich buying Chelsea. Has anyone bought a football kit for their nippers lately? I loathe the idea of this new super league but it is a natural progression from the Prem. But...but...as much as Gary Neville's rant is real and probably heart felt, his moral argument is that of a champagne socialist. As for politicians getting involved....please. Unfortunately, this new league will syphon off a lot of money and the most exciting players. I hate it but....did we really expect anything else?
|saintmark1976 added 13:36 - Apr 19|
I’m confused, perhaps someone can help me out here.
Should the Super League happen, would the so called top six still play week in and week out in the Premiership? If that is the case then what will happen if a club outside the top six wins the Premiership in the manner of say Leicester five years ago? Presumably they won’t be able to complete in Europe the following season as the Super League will be a “ closed shop “? If that’s the case then how does such a club obtain access to the massive income that the current Champions League provides?
|SanMarco added 13:40 - Apr 19|
Neville's hypocrisy is not 'champagne' or any other type of socialism - it is the fact that he takes the Sky shilling. Sky are worried about this but if they are shafted by the logical conclusions of their own totally self-regarding takeover of football then that will be the one and only good thing about this.
I think this is a high power bluff - it is the sort of thing that today's politicians do to force things through. The 'big six' want to play in the EPL AND some little Euro fantasy league with their wealthy chums. Their bluff should be called - if they want to go they must GO with NO WAY back. What I fear is that there will be a 'compromise' to keep them which will embed their financial dominance to even further extremes. Eventually even the stragglers like the north London boys will be a genuine 'big six' in performance as well as wealth.
Non-'big six' UK supporters do face a dilemma. The big issue, expressed in Nick's "within a few years football in England would be competitive again" is about the path of the money. We have all vowed all sorts of things along the 'I will never...' lines over many years: Loads of big-sixers are now saying they wont watch and lots of talk of ditching Sky subscriptions (I've vowed to ditch mine - yet again - soon, of course, rather than now) and the like. All those vowed torn up season-tickets would make a pile the size of Everest, those actually torn up would probably be a decent-sized bonfire. And therein lies the proof of the pudding - will it be eaten?? If these uber-Capitalists see that the money isn't following they will change course - otherwise they are just doing what they always do to fans: taking them for fools and taking them for granted. I only watch a 'Champions' League match nowadays if it particularly attracts my interest but I think I can say with confidence that I will NEVER pay a penny to watch a 'European Superleague'. If the majority genuinely agree with me then the bluff CAN and SHOULD be called - if not then football really is on the handcart to hell.
|Colburn added 13:41 - Apr 19|
Yeah... JP Morgan and the worldwide cartel of control are now taking over football completely. There's nothing we can do about it. They sank the Titanic over a hundred years ago, missing the boat, whilst the richest in the US went down with the vessel. The following year Morgan and co formed the federal reserve.. These people are not challengable in any way. Interesting that they also owned the boat caught in the Pacific a couple of years ago with 3 billion quid of drugs on it.. There's nothing anyone can do to stop JP Morgan and their equally disgraceful associates, they might go back on it this time but it is inevitable that this super league will happen eventually because of the market outside Europe for football. It won't take you long to confirm the above and realise that the elite will have their way whatever football fans think..
|obelisk added 13:42 - Apr 19|
I tend to agree. Let them go if that's the way they want it.
Question is what to do with the first of them that come crawling back asking to play in English leagues again? Re-entry on the bottom rung and play in skins?
|davidargyll added 13:42 - Apr 19|
I just think it's a laugh that Tottenham consider themselves to be a member of the big 6 - unless of course it's measured by how much debt they have saddled themselves with...
|Centurion added 14:30 - Apr 19|
Aa above...and before they go get them to pay back every last penny of the loan made by the Govt...right here right now.
LOL if they finish last every season but at least they wont get relegated!
|allsaint54 added 14:55 - Apr 19|
Let them go & be rid of their financial arrogance, provided they're kicked out of all domestic competitions. Even better would be for this Super League to fail & the 'big 6' not allowed to rejoin the real football competitions.
|EvertonSaint added 15:13 - Apr 19|
This move will hit and kill off many clubs who have players on big wages. Surely the tv companies will follow the ‘elite’ group and stop ploughing money into the ‘lower’ clubs. Clubs will have to cut wages to survive. Football as we know it is being hung out to dry by greed.
Players will demand huge fees to play in the Super league’ driving an even bigger wedge between those who have and those who don’t. The arrogance of the six is beyond comprehension to us mere mortals. We have already seen incidents of arrogance during the pandemic and even before due to money and a lack of respect to many of us who work for years to achieve a good level of security.
Kick them out and let’s rebuild football. Perhaps we need to use the German model, clubs owned by 51% of fans.
|Number_58 added 15:16 - Apr 19|
If they do all get thrown out of the EPL, and presumably as a consequence the TV money is slashed, how are we ever going to pay back that great big loan? I would suggest many clubs will simply implode without the TV millions.
|underweststand added 15:32 - Apr 19|
....seems like most of us are in agreement on this one. Good article Nick.
The real surprise is not that this has happened, but the fact that it took so long....
I like to think that this move (if and when ) will be of benefit to the domestic game.
Taking the "Big Six "(or however many) out of the equation will bring a balance to the Prem. with more competition amongst clubs who are "more or less" on the similar level.
Regardless of how positive players /managers may sound off about the prospect of going to Old Trafford, the Emirates or Anfield many people accept that it is more sensible (economically speaking) ..to save the hotel / travel costs and send the points - by post.
If the ecologists have their way there won't be any oil-magnates around in 10 years time to buy out football clubs, and for those of us who don't regard Champions League as the be-all and end-all in the footballing world, the prospect of getting back to "grass roots" domestic football is encouraging and potentially offers the opportunity of winning the Prem. to more clubs than might only have dreamed about it in bygone decades.
The ramifications of this move for the players may be greater than many think, except for those who enjoy travel and seeing foreign cities. In England we accept travel to the North of England or London as "par for the course " - (sorry wrong sport) - but not while not forgetting your passport, travel between Spain, Germany and Italy every week and training every other day will play havoc with their stomachs and family life for many, and maybe not worth the pain and anguish - regardless of how much they may get paid.
My message to the " deserters " is simply...s*d off, and let us get on with our football.
|PaleRider added 15:39 - Apr 19|
Underweststand - you have expressed my views perfectly! UEFA could still organise slimmed down European club competition - maybe just the Europa League - with slightly different criteria. That ay we can again recreate Arnhem, Milan etc.
|ElijahK added 15:55 - Apr 19|
I really hope that this is the turning point for football of when anyone will be able to win anything and there is no “top 6” anymore as when a season starts, no one will be at any odds to win the league higher than like 4 to 1!
Money has been ruining football for too long and honestly I’d rather have a PL without those 6 teams where anyone can win, rather than the boring one where it’s always the same, in which we have today!
|halftimeorange added 16:17 - Apr 19|
Knowing the weak-kneed response of our ruling bodies I wouldn't be surprised if the big six are allowed to field their B sides in the EPL. The only way out of this is a complete boycott of any games from now on which involve the clubs named when crowds are allowed back and the wholesale cancellation of TV sports subscriptions..
|redwight added 17:46 - Apr 19|
What a pleasant change it must be to write a piece on which we can all agree, Nick!
Yes it is finally time to call their bluff. Foreign owners, mainly American, have never grasped the concept of promotion and relegation. They will find out soon enough that dead matches, regardless of the depth of talent on display, hold no appeal. Grounds will be devoid of atmosphere when the presence of away fans is the stuff of memories, and the whole mad, bad, selfish idea will wither and die.
The worry is that the various authorities won't stand their ground, but will instead offer yet more concessions. The problem with that is that when only one side gives ground, the other eventually gets what it wants.
In the meantime I look forward to the day when the tail stops wagging the dog; the end of the process by which only those clubs with Champions League aspirations could set the rules and the other 86 just had to accept what they were given. Who knows, perhaps we could return to the days of cup ties being played to a conclusion, whatever it took, and the thought of fielding under strength teams didn't exist. Hell, we could even have a knock out European competition for all title winners. We could call it the European Cup.
We can but dream.....
|AmericanSaint added 02:13 - Apr 20|
So some very good points to this article and by some. I think the big 6 leaving could be very good for football BUT two major things have to happen: (1) They leave the league completely and are not allowed to have a "B" team in the EPL; (2) The FA powers that be do not cave to point one and state, "if you go, you go". My fear is that the FA will be cowards and try and compromise with the teams and will allow a "B" team, which will end the EPL. I also think some of the FA will most likely get bribed or paid off to make a compromise happen. Finally, as an American, I would like to apologize to you all for the asshat owners of Liverpool and MU. They are greedy SOBs and do not understand the history and roots of football in England. They are also hypocrites as if the FSG group tried to move the Boston Red Sox baseball team from Boston for more money in Florida lets say, they would be looking over their shoulders as people would be coming to kill them literally. That is how fanatical the Boston fans are. So, I say let the big 6 leave as long as they go AND never come back - They will find the sea of loneliness a bitter pill to swallow.
|SaintGeorge added 20:49 - Apr 20|
Got your ass handed to you on a plate by the fans there
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