Gary Neville: Manchester United legend calls for fans to help stop ‘dangerous’ club owners harming football

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Giuseppe Muro
·3-min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gary Neville has called for English football fans to “mobilise together” behind calls for government regulation to stop owners of the ‘big six’ clubs “doing harm” to English football.

Manchester United fans broke into Old Trafford on Sunday to protest against the Glazers, while there have also been protests by Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool fans.

The Government has announced a fan-led review into English football after Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and both Manchester club signed up for a controversial European Super League last month before they pulled out.

Neville has warned that Daniel Levy, Roman Abramovich, the Kroenkes, the Glazers, Abu Dhabi United Group and Fenway Sports Group are “dangerous” for the game in this country.

Speaking on Sky Sports at Old Trafford amid the protests, Neville described the six ownership groups as “double-trouble billionaires” and called for fans to unite and “mobilise behind legislation and regulation”.

Neville said: “You cannot force someone to sell a football club and the Glazer family have proved before that they are stubborn, they are resilient and they will not be forced out.

“However, all I would say is the time has come now to put it up for sale, make their money and allow someone else to take it on. It would be the right thing to do. Whether they do it or not is another matter.

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

“What I do think is achievable in English football at this moment in time is that every fan in this country, whether you are a National League club, an EFL club, grassroots, the 14 Premier League clubs outside of that top six, you know you are in danger at this moment in time from those six.

“So what is achievable? There is a fan-lead review that has been announced by the Government and there is independent regulation that could be achievable if fans all mobilise together.

“Because we need to make sure there are protections put in place against these six owners – Daniel Levy, Kroenke, Abu Dhabi, the Glazer family, FSG and Roman Abramovich, who demonstrated two weeks ago they are in danger to English football.

“With Project Big Picture they put a proposal forward for people to listen to and it was kicked back. Then they announced they had signed to a proposal, so they took it a step forward. The next time you will not get asked. They will just leave. They are not going away.

“They are double-trouble billionaires who get what they want. The next time they will scheme behind the backs of the rest of football and just leave.

“There needs to be protections put in place as quickly as possible through legislation and regulation. That is the only way we can stop it.

“What the fans can do is mobilise behind legislation and regulation that would stop them doing harm to the rest of the game.”

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Neville added: "We cannot forget what they did two weeks ago, which was really dangerous for English football. They tried to walk away and create a closed shop league that would've created a famine in this country for every other football club.

“They tried to create a famine two weeks ago in English football, in Dutch football, in French football... all over Europe. Those 15 clubs would've walked away from Europe with all that money and would've destroyed the ethos of the pyramid of relegation and promotion.

“It's unforgivable what they did. The Glazer family tried to implement something two weeks ago which would've damaged every single community in this country that's got football at the heart of it - and that's why they're dangerous.

“They are dangerous to the concept of fair play and equal opportunity in football."

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