Footballing memories are always remembered with a story, a meaning, a triumphant finale or a tragic end. There is always the folklore that exists around a rivalry, a furore that manifests in the build up to a game, a tradition and a history of the beautiful game as played in the eyes of the beholder. This is what I feel now and what I’ve felt throughout my footballing life as a fan, and whilst there are some things changing with the modernisation of the game, the majority of the above still rings true for a lot of fans.
The creation, therefore, of a European super league would absolutely massacre the sanctity of what is good and right about our beautiful game. And that’s the point, it’s OURS. I’ve spoken to so many fans and seen such an outpouring of apathy towards anything resembling a breakaway league, that if indeed it did happen so many of these fans would turn away from following the sport. It may have some global appeal for a short while because all shiny new things do, but the essence of any club involved will be lost forever.
When you think of the super clubs’ head honchos meeting to discuss what a European super league might look like and chucking in stipulations such as relegation not being possible for a certain 11 clubs (one of which is said to be Arsenal) it is the definition of the “rich getting richer”. Leaving the other so called lesser clubs to fend for themselves in a league with much less global appeal and money flowing through it also screams of ethics being chucked out of the window. It reminds me of when I once heard Stan Collymore on talksport mention that “all the big clubs like Villa, Forrest, Everton, Leeds, and the like shouldn’t ever be relegated from the Premier League”. When he said those words I laughed out loud and he was rightly derided as nonsensical. A European version of this is the same, but worse. The thought of it is fairly sickening and any identity we have with our clubs is at risk here. I’m fairly sure that every fan (both in and out of the super league teams) feels this way.
A short term approach to anything in life always has repercussions that come back to bite fairly quickly and it’s hard to see past apathy and disinterest. Yes we would have some incredible fixtures at all times to look forward to but just not that many fixtures in total. The rumours suggest that there would be 16 teams involved with 4 groups. Even if we were to win the damn thing we could hope for a maximum of 11 fixtures. How does that even work over the course of a year? It just doesn’t even make any logistical sense. The whole thing feels like non football people making football decisions, or trying to at least, and if true they are failing us all miserably.
Think of a world without any derbies, any cup finals, any rivalry…and the worst thing of all, it would give Sp*rs an actual chance of winning the league. Nothing good can come of this if it goes ahead and the logical, reasonable thing to happen would be for the idea to be thrown out. But logic and reason have long since been passed up by the powers that be, and for that reason we should remain both worried and cautious. We need to ensure that if there is a place where our voices as fans can be heard then we must voice our wants and needs clearly to the club/s that we follow. Why let the corrupt take what we created? I for sure know I’d lose all my real feeling towards the club I love if we joined any such league.
My favourite memory as a fan has to be at the 2014 FA Cup Final. Being there to see us comeback vs Hull was the single greatest moment as my life as a fan of Arsenal Football Club. The opportunity for future fans to create such a memory could be taken away from them boy the formation of a super league. No one wants it. I want the derby day bragging rights, I want the cup finals, I want the Premier League.
“Things change. Friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.” as goes the famous quote, and yet this feels like we would be throwing our friends under a bus and forcing ourselves to enjoy both the fact that our friends are dead as well as the fact that we’re not on a bus, but a plane. Sounds weird right? That’s because the whole concept is weird and one that absolutely will not work.
Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1.