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Football Reporting


Furious supporters groups of Big Six call for ownership changes after Super League farce

It has been a chaotic several days of football news with the confirmation and subsequent implosion of the European Super League.

The Premier League ’s so-called ‘big six’ clubs were all among the 12 founding member clubs, but all six confirmed their withdrawal from the tournament on Tuesday evening following a significant backlash.

Manchester City , Manchester United , Liverpool , Arsenal , Chelsea and Tottenham all confirmed a sharp u-turn following a tidal wave of criticism from fans, players, managers, governments and multiple football federations.

Despite all six reversing on the situation, there is no sign that the backlash to their actions will recede with potential repercussions from football authorities.

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Furthermore, fan groups have maintained their fury at their club’s ownerships.

Here is a look at how leading fan groups of those six clubs have reacted.

Arsenal fans protesting at owner Stan Kroenke
Arsenal fans protesting at owner Stan Kroenke

The major Arsenal fans group once again renewed its calls for club owner and American billionaire Stan Kroenke to leave the club.

The Arsenal Supporters Trust declared in a social media post on Wednesday morning: “All costs that Arsenal have incurred as a result of this SuperLeague farce should be picked up Stan Kroenke, not the club. It is his plan, he should pay. Sadly we expect it will come out of the pockets of fans #KroenkeOut.”

Manchester United

Manchester United Chief Executive Ed Woodward has confirmed he is leaving the club

A statement from MUST ( Manchester United Supporters Trust) spoke of this being a “turning point” for both “United and for football as a whole.”

Ed Woodward has announced his resignation but the club’s unpopular ownership from the Glazer family is also under scrutiny.

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The lengthy statement read: “We have spent over fifteen years saying the law needs to be changed to give supporters more power over their football clubs, and now we have a government review looking at just that. Engaging in this review process is going to be a top priority for MUST in the coming few months. We simply cannot rest on our laurels, pat ourselves on the back and wait for another similar plan to emerge down the line.

“Turning to our club, all of us were shocked and appalled – but not surprised – that it appears we were very much amongst the ring-leaders of this insidious endeavour. For sixteen years now, we have been talking about the negative consequences of our debt-ridden ownership structure and the owners who inflicted it upon us. In many ways, the vile Super League plan was the crystalisation of everything we have been opposing and fighting against.

“This must be a turning point for football, and it must be a turning point for United too. Ed Woodward is now leaving the club, but our beef was never with Ed personally. It is not about any one Club employee personally. Many of them are good people placed in a really difficult position. No, the problems at Manchester United are at ownership level. With Ed going, and their Super League dream in tatters, maybe the Glazers ought to consider if now is their moment to leave the pitch too.”

In terms of renewed fans protest against the ownership, the statement added: “Naturally some fans will want to protest against the Glazers ownership which we all wish to see change. While we are not organising any such protest we do fully support the right of our fans to express their views in any protest conducted in a lawful and safe way.”

Manchester City

Man City fans display banners in protest

The current Premier League leaders were among the first club to officially confirm their withdrawal from the Super League but that has not saved them from a strong backlash from their 1894 Group of supporters.

A statement released on Wednesday hit out at the club for ensuring the fans “were being fed spin” and claimed their owners “were quite happy to jump into bed with the Glazers and Fenway Sports. There’s no moral high ground to claim here.”

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The statement added that there was a clear disconnect between fan groups and the control of the club: “Our displays and efforts to support the team clearly mean nothing to the board and many within 1894 will understandably take time now to consider whether they want to actually commit their time to this if, as we now know, they couldn’t care less.

“We want the club to engage with the fans so we will do the same with our members over the next few weeks and see what kind of organisation they want.”

Li verpool

Liverpool fans protest at the European Super League
Liverpool fans protest at the European Super League

Liverpool ’s Supporters Union The Spirit of Shankly released a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday afternoon, refusing to accept the video apology from the club’s owner John Henry.

The hard-hitting statement spoke of owners FSG’s “arrogance and deception”, describing the “money grab” as “frightening” but “not surprising.”

They have said the statement from Henry was “too little too late” and criticised his “hollow” words and claimed that Henry crying was “crocodile tears”.

The statement added: “The ‘future of football’ came crashing down in 48 hours because of the solidarity and outcry of ‘legacy’ fans across the country. This debacle must be a catalyst for real change, not an exercise in damage limitation.

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“Our owners have thrown everyone under the bus, supporters, manager, players and staff, and humiliated themselves through sheer greed and arrogance.

“The hypocrisy of the Premier League and broadcasters has also been noted. They have never considered the fans in their own gold rush and have treated us with thinly disguised contempt over the years.

“We need a fundamental change in football governance, one that is fair for the whole football pyramid, not just the rapacious elite. We need a model that promises equitable distribution of the vast amounts of money involved in the beautiful game, our game.

“During this confusion UEFA have gladly portrayed themselves as the progressive force. Nothing could be further from the truth and their new Champions League format is a disgrace. One that must be resisted immediately.

“We will be consulting with our members to gauge their opinion on our next steps.”


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A Tottenham fan protests at the Super League
A Tottenham fan protests at the Super League

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust has yet to comment publicly since their club confirmed their withdrawal from the Super League on Tuesday night.

However, following the confirmation of the Super League on Sunday the Trust stated: “The current Board of THFC betrayed the Club, its history and the magic that makes this game so special when they put their name to a statement announcing the formation of a breakaway European Super League.”

That was in a strongly-worded post titled “The Betrayal of Tottenham Hotspur”.


Chelsea fans protest at European Super League
Chelsea fans protest at European Super League

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has called for the resignations of the club’s chairman Bruce Buck and CEO Guy Laurence.

The Trust focused their ire at the two leading individuals at the club’s board, but there was no reference to club owner Roman Abramovich in the statement.

The Trust have said: “The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust is appalled with the tone and insincerity of the statement issued by CFC today.

“We request a full and in-depth explanation as to why the board took the decision to turn their back on the European competition and for CFC to explain why they signed up to the Super League without prior consultation with their loyal supporters.

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“We are disappointed that an apology has not been included in the statement. The legacy of our club was put at risk for what appears to have been solely for financial gain.

“The CST presently have little or no confidence in our current leadership at board level. On Monday, Bruce Buck extensively defended CFC’s plan to remain in the Super League at a fans’ forum meeting.

“Buck, alongside Laurence, appears to have given no consideration towards the loyal supporters, so their positions would seem untenable moving forward,’ the statement continued.

“Our relations with CFC will remain frayed until we have a better understanding of why this decision happened and we are assured that change and safeguards are put in place.

“The CST will not rest until we are comfortable that change and protections are put in place, because 116 years of history was jeopardised. This is our club and will remain our club.”

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