Comment: Joyless and soulless European Super League plans make me even prouder to be a Hartlepool United fan


Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:59 am

The European Super League plans can be summed up in one word.

Greed. Glorious greed.

And the fallout facing football as a whole from the dramatic events of the past 24-hours can be summed up in six words, as illustrated in the brilliant piece by long-standing Carlisle United writer Jon Colman.

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Comment: Joyless and soulless European Super League plans make me even prouder to be a Hartlepool United fan

Under a piece for the News and Star headlined 'Reasons why a European Super League would be great for football' Jon wrote: 'There aren't any. End of article.'

A simple and effective message but the situation facing the football administrators at the likes of FIFA, UEFA, Premier League and the FA is far more complex.

There is a strong - and easy - argument to make, to just let the so-called big six from the Premier League go, expel them from the league, ban their players from competing for their various countries and hit the clubs where it hurts, financially, in terms of the revenue they'd miss out on being part of the Premier League.

The new revenue they stand to make from the European Super League is eye-watering. The rich get richer, screw the rest.

It is everything that is wrong with football.

While the rest of the world battled with the coronavirus pandemic and just aimed to survive, these clubs were plotting to capitalise and make themselves richer with a promise of helping others further down the chain along the way.

If you believe that, well…

At a time that dozens of National League, National League North and South clubs - and below - were faced with the very real prospect of going bust as a result of the coronavirus, what did the top flight clubs - and in particular these 'big 6' - in this country do?

Barely lifted a finger.

Last summer to help with cashflow problems, it was announced the Premier League was to advance its annual solidarity payments with each National League club, including Hartlepool United, receiving £58,333.

Less than half what some players playing for top flight clubs earn in a week.

An advancement of some funding these clubs would have got anyway and then in the end the second part of the funding just to allow the National League season to continue came in the form of loans - not grants - but from the Government.

For a fraction of what the 'big six' are set to make from the joyless and soulless new European Super League, they could have safeguarded the future of dozens of clubs just battling to survive and we are yet to see the full impact of that.

Is that their responsibility? No. But if they truly gave two hoots about the football pyramid then they'd have done more than they did, which was next to nothing.

I'm a Hartlepool United fan and proud of it.

I feel sorry for fans of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs, that their clubs - or their owners' at least - have moved so far away from what football should really be about.

History. Fans. Community. Passion.

They have, in effect, just become tourist clubs. The joy of the big European games is that they come round a few times a year, not all the time.

This could all, of course, be some sort of leverage at a time when the Champions League is getting revamped, but inevitably it appears there will be some serious changes to the football landscape heading our way.

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out in the coming days, weeks, months following the strong, fierce and vocal backlash from fans and the wider football community.

I'd made a joke on Twitter that at least Pools would now be six places closer to a return up the football pyramid but truth be told the pyramid in this country - the envy of many around the world - would be far poorer if the 'big 6' weren't in it.

For all the power they hold, they bring a lot to the party and you want the best players competing on the biggest stage for the big trophies in this country.

The Premier League wouldn't be worth watching without them.

So-called Super Sundays can be a struggle at the best of times if Fulham are taking on West Bromwich Albion as the main attraction.

For so many reasons, the European Super League, as presented, must be stopped at all costs.

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