Thursday, December 2

Soccer fans must be angry to get the game back on track | European Super League

TThe trajectory of European football has led for decades to the chaos that we have seen in the last 72 hours. Elite clubs have increasingly asked for more and have been given it by leagues, football associations and UEFA, the governing body of European football.

But appeasing the richest clubs in football has not and will not work.

Vultures go around and always want more. We have fed and fed them, and it has not satiated their appetite, it has only developed their strength and fed their greed. This time around, the cabal of billionaire homeowners has gone overboard and their voracious appetite has failed in spectacular fashion.

Never before has such a united front been shown: fans from across the continent and from all areas of the game, players, experts, coaches, journalists, clubs, leagues, FA, UEFA, the prime minister and the government.

The Association of Soccer Fans wondered if there was anyone who had not spoken. So the Royals got involved, both Reading FC Y the current Duke of Cambridge who tweeted his concern.

The English club’s participation in the Super League disappeared. Although we have all seen movies in which the monster returns from the dead, there is no truce on the part of the fans.

On a continental level, the FSA will continue to campaign with our friends in Football Supporters Europe (FSE). Juventus president Andrea Agnelli’s “blood pact” has no place in football and the FSE has always argued that European football needed to share power and wealth, not accumulate them among elite clubs.

FSE has rightly highlighted “the unsustainable nature of modern football – its lack of oversight, widespread inequality and rampant greed – [that] it has been uncovered for all to see. “

When it comes to the fans, English football has played a very positive role in the defeat of the Super League and we will continue to support the FSE in its efforts to challenge the expansion of the Champions League, which threatens national leagues across the world. continent.

A few days of red-hot rage have killed this version of the Super League but we are not going to take our foot off the gas. A return to the status quo is not acceptable. If allowed, unscrupulous homeowners will rebuild their trust, regroup, and resurface with other horrible plans.

On Wednesday at the PMQ, the prime minister agreed that fans had to be at the center of the decision-making process and engaged in “root and branch research on the governance of football and what we can do to promote the role of fans in that governance ”.

There have been many previous criticisms of soccer, dating back to David Mellor’s task force in the ’90s, and the game has been allowed to ignore or dilute the findings over and over again.

Borussia Dortmund fans.  Does English football have anything to learn from the Bundesliga fan ownership model?
Borussia Dortmund fans. Does English football have anything to learn from the Bundesliga fan ownership model? Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images

That cannot happen again and the FSA will work with all parties, doing everything in our power, to ensure that it does not happen again. It could be that the “legislative bomb” suggested by the prime minister is required, in which case we need FSA members and football fans everywhere to stay angry and keep pushing their MPs to fix football.

So what changes are required? If the Premier League can’t control its clubs, who can?

An independent regulatory body is needed. All leagues are effectively membership-based commercial organizations (also known as football clubs) and cannot regulate themselves. That is not to say that all owners are bad, we know that many care about the best interests of their club, but in general the system does not work.

Fans must be embedded in the heart of the institutions of the game, giving them real power and influence, and reserved spaces on club boards for elected fan representatives. The government can try to remove barriers to partial or full ownership of supporters and observe how the 50 + 1 rule works in Germany. Nothing should be off the table.

Soccer is probably the greatest expression of cultural and community identity in this country, and it must be treated with respect. Greedy owners who tear apart the structure of the institutions of our game cause damage that goes beyond football.

The best clubs have often treated their fans with contempt when it comes to ticket prices, kick-off times, support for women’s football, wealth distribution, and grassroots funding. We want the participation of the fans to be properly integrated into the power structure and spirit of each club.

At the lower-league and non-league level, too many storied clubs have teetered on the brink or have disappeared entirely due to poor or non-existent financial oversight and a lack of ownership transparency. They leave behind a trail of heartbroken fans and struggling local businesses with unpaid bills and unexpected debt.

The Super League could be dead right now, but the monster could return. Let’s stay angry and make these changes. Put pressure on your deputy and your club. Join the FSA. Join your local group of supporters. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve soccer.

Kevin Miles is the executive director of the Association of Soccer Fans.

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