DAZN co-chief exec: Future efforts to reshape football must include fan input

Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter
·1-min read

Any future efforts to reshape top-level football must include input from fans, the boss of a leading sports broadcaster has warned.

Plans for a European Super League were launched and fell apart over 72 dramatic hours earlier this month, with the clubs, their leagues and UEFA still in recovery mode.

Government pressure was one factor in the collapse but protests by fans of England’s ‘Big Six’ – who had all signed up – were widely considered to be the major reason for the clubs’ change of heart.

Over-the-top broadcasting platform DAZN was reported to be involved in the ESL plans on the day they were confirmed, but it moved swiftly to deny those reports.

Its co-chief executive James Rushton indicated that any new competition in the future was effectively a non-starter without fan buy-in.

“What it does show is that any change that you are going to make to the football pyramid in the future…if you don’t include the lifeblood of the sport, the fans, in that process then it’s going to be very difficult to make that change,” he told SportsPro Live.

“That was a clear bloody nose for those clubs. They didn’t consult in the way that they should have,” he added.

“The local leagues and UEFA and FIFA will make sure that, whenever they look to perform any future changes to the game, they will look to do so in a far more collective way and will do so having consulted the fans in a far more impressive way.”