'Good riddance' - Norwich fans react to European Super League plans
- Credit: Matt Usher/Norwich City FC
The footballing world has been largely critical of the newly-announced plans to create a European Super League, of which the so-called "big six" in English football are founding members.
After much speculation throughout the day, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur announced late on Sunday that they are all founding members of the new competition.
They join another six elite clubs from the continent in establishing the "new mid-week competition", which is set to be a direct rival to UEFA's Champions League and "is intended to commence as soon as practicable".
The move has already been condemned by many leading figures in football – governing bodies UEFA and FIFA have already denounced the plans, as have many supporter groups for the English teams involved.
Norwich City fans also reacted to the news, which broke just a day after the Canaries sealed promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
Jon Punt, supporters group Along Come Norwich co-founder, believes the clubs’ actions show that very little has been learned from the pandemic.
He said: “This really isn’t a surprise, the supposed top six have been clamouring for more profile and even more money for some time. It reeks of self-importance and the reaction of most fans will hopefully quash any talk of this actually happening. One of the most important takeaways for football from the pandemic should be that the game is nothing without its fans.
“Unfortunately the clubs involved continue to fail to recognise that and this is just an extension of their corporate greed, which continues to permeate throughout the Premier League and makes it an almost soulless division because of it.
“It’s difficult enough for clubs like Norwich City to compete in the top flight and many supporters would be perfectly happy to be part of the Championship every season. There’s a key reason behind that - every game is competitive and there isn’t a cabal of super rich clubs hoovering up the best talent. Any strides to make the rich even richer should be opposed, the future of the game is at stake here.”
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In a blog post, Canaries Trust chairman Robin Sainty said: "Never mind that well over a century of history will be going into the trash; never mind that Covid hit fans of the “elite” clubs will have to stump up for away games at the Allianz Stadium or the Nou Camp rather than Turf Moor or Selhurst Park, because it’s all about the money.
"$6bn of it in fact, according to Sky Sports."
He added: "The prospect of the potential cut in TV revenue if the European Super League goes ahead could quite simply spell the end for some clubs and would undoubtedly send a seismic shock wave through the English game."
TV presenter Jake Humphrey and City fan said he was "more grateful for, and in love with, my club and its ownership than ever" in light of the announcement.
Norwich City fan Ron Edwards said "good riddance" to the clubs involved if the new competition goes ahead, adding: "I hope then The FA regulates things so no one club can financially dominate, and every club from Norwich to Rochdale can dream."
Fellow Canaries supporter Alex Curtis was upbeat about the news, saying the possible Premier League ban that the clubs involved have been threatened with "gives [City] a real chance of the top four and getting Champions League football".
An another unnamed City fan added: "So happy I support a club who [sic] puts community and family ahead of greed for money.
"We may be a yo-yo club, but the joy we get from going from, in no disrespect, Wycombe away, to Manchester United away, is what makes football great.
"The Super League will ruin football."
On social media, the Chelsea Supporters' Trust called the move "the ultimate betrayal", while Liverpool supporters' union Spirit of Shankly said the club's American owners Fenway Sports Group had "ignored fans in their relentless and greedy pursuit of money".
And the news transcended the footballing world as the leader of the UK's two main political parties both issued their own condemnations of the new Super League.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said the new tournament would be "very damaging for football", while Labour leader Keir Starmer urged the clubs involved to "rethink immediately".
Both warned that the 'big six' should "face the consequences" if they press ahead with the plans.