European Super League: Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin appeals for English clubs to correct ‘huge mistake’

Simon Collings
·3-min read
 (AFP/Getty Images)
(AFP/Getty Images)

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has offered an olive branch to the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ and told them it is not too late to back out of the new European Super League.

Currently Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have all signed up for the new breakaway Super League, joining AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in becoming founder members.

The new midweek competition, however, has been met with a furious backlash from those in and outside of football.

Supporters in particular are up in arms about the Super League and Ceferin has urged those clubs involved to listen to their fans.

“At this point I would like to address the owners of some English clubs,” Ceferin told a Uefa Congress meeting on Tuesday morning.

“Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake. Some will say it is greed, others disdain, arrogance, flippancy or complete ignorance of England’s football culture.

“But actually it doesn’t matter. What matters is there is still time to change your mind. Everyone makes mistakes. English fans deserve to have you correct your mistake. They deserve respect.

“So, to the English clubs mainly, come to your senses - not out of love for football, because I imagine some of you don’t have much of that - but out of respect for those who bleed themselves dry so that they can go to the stadium to support their team and want the dream to be kept alive.

“For those, you change your mind. Do it out of respect for the English people, for the home of football.”

Ceferin warned during his speech that the new Super League could “kill the beautiful game”.

He added: “Some CEOs change clubs like they change their shirts - or even faster.

“Money has become more important than glory, greed more important than loyalty and dividends much more important than passion.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin wants the 12 European Super League clubs to change their mindsAFP/Getty Images
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin wants the 12 European Super League clubs to change their mindsAFP/Getty Images

“We hear day and night about owners, owners, owners. What or whom do they own? Football does not belong to anyone, or rather it belongs to everyone, because football is part of our heritage.

“For some, supporters have become consumers. Fans have become customers and competitions have become products.

“Pre-match, they no longer look at team lineups, but at betting odds and numbers of followers on Twitter. And after the final whistle, it is no longer the league tables they consult, but viewing figures and share prices.”

Ceferin also urged the rebel clubs to think about the role Uefa played in them becoming big sides, adding too how the make-up of European football was very different decades ago.

“If the clubs that dominated European football 30 or 40 years ago had to decided to form a Super League, what would it have looked like?” he said.

“We would have Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Hamburg, Steaua Bucharest, Porto, PSV and Red Star. These were Europe’s cream of the crop back then.

“That would be a Super League back then. But football changes and some don’t understand, they see only the changes on their bank accounts and nowhere else.

“Those clubs, who think they are big and untouchable now, should remember where they came from and they should realise that if they are European giants today, it is partly thanks to UEFA - which over 60 years has been protecting the ideal of competitions assessed purely on the basis of sporting merit. Without UEFA, who knows where they would be.”

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