The reaction in England against the creation of the Premier League was so harsh that the owners of 4 of the six clubs in the country participating in the project apologized: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham. Manchester City only issued a three-line statement. Chelsea said the tournament would not serve the interests of the football community, but he did not apologize.
Organized pressure from fan groups was one of the factors that drove half of the founders’ 12 to jump off the boat. They also surrendered in the face of threats from UEFA, the other 14 clubs in the Premier League, and the British government. Even the royal family took part. Prince William, President of the English Confederation (FA), condemned this initiative.
The action in England has upended any prospect of going forward in the Premier League. The Spanish team also founded Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, the Italians, Juventus, Milan and Internazionale.
For British fan organizations, the controversy opened the door to lobbying for changes in the structure of national football.
“Very important steps have been taken in the last few days. We realized that a lot of people want changes and are ready to fight for them. The Super League has gathered those who have that desire. And when.” [o primeiro-ministro britânico] Boris JohnsonHe, who is known as a free market advocate, makes a comment like last Tuesday, we realize that a lot is still at stake, “he said. Leaf Ian Stirling is director of Manchester United Supporters (MUST), the club’s main fan organization.
In a hypothetical meeting with jubilant representatives from the six clubs that will take part in Superliga, Johnson signaled the creation of a committee made up of different parties to analyze changes in soccer management. He said if the rebels proceeded with the project, he would be open to drastic measures to punish them.
The prospect of an outside entity regulating the management of teams worries the big players, according to the federations that the report heard.
“What we want is to change the club structure. It takes courage from the government to do that, but the time is right. If nothing is done, we will go from crisis to crisis,” says Joe Plott, president of The Spirit of Shankly, a group that brings together Liverpool fans. .
Receive letters of repentance with suspicion. John Henry, CEO of Fenway Group, owner of Liverpool, runs the USA club and rarely appears in England. Joe Glazer, who signs the letter of apology on behalf of Manchester United, lives in Florida and has not been to Old Trafford in over two years.
The groups that bring together fans from different teams, competitors on the field, have come together to devise a strategy. The consensus is that pressure must continue on the government until the Football Association, the nation’s soccer regulator, adopts the changes they demanded.
For these associations, the announcement of the associations’ adoption of a project seen as a greedy and purely financial project was the moment when the flags defending them gained strength.
The ultimate goal is for England to adopt a model identical to that of Germany, where no company or individual can own more than 50% of the club’s shares.
“We want fan organizations to have board seats and their voices to be heard. Also, fans can have a stake of up to 25%. They don’t want to profit, it’s a purely emotional investment. It’s a different relationship. From billionaires who buy teams,” he says Stirling.
Three of the English clubs that have participated in the Premier League belong to the Americans (Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United). Chelsea owned by Roman Russian pole Abramovich. The city is controlled by a company that is part of the royal family conglomerate in the United Arab Emirates. Tottenham is owned by an English investment group.
“We thought the Manchester City owners were a little different and that they were at the club to do the right things. They have procedures that help communities and people in need, but when they supported the idea of the Premier League, they lost a large part of the good image they had,” regrets Kevin Parker, club secretary Manchester City official.
Some people who coordinate reflex movements have previous experience. MUST is made up of members who pressed out of Manchester United by Sky, the primary owner of the Premier League broadcast rights, in 1998.
The Soul of Shankly was born in 2008 to fight the then Liverpool owners, Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillette. The club was in financial difficulties and was sold to the Fenway Group in 2010.
The search for changes is not limited to the UK. Roxana Maracignano, the French sports minister, said the domestic system, in which there is government oversight by sports federations, should be extended to all European Union countries. a Paris Saint-GermainThe main team in the country today, refused to participate in the Premier League.