Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trusts accuse own clubs of ‘betraying’ fans over European Super League plans and call it ‘death of football’

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trusts have slammed their own clubs for joining a breakaway European Super League, labelling it a ‘betrayal’ and ‘the death of football’. The so-called Premier League ‘big six’ released joint statements on Sunday night confirming they are among the founding 12 members of the breakaway competition. The reaction was immediate […]

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trusts accuse own clubs of ‘betraying’ fans over European Super League plans and call it ‘death of football’

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trusts have slammed their own clubs for joining a breakaway European Super League, labelling it a ‘betrayal’ and ‘the death of football’.

The so-called Premier League ‘big six’ released joint statements on Sunday night confirming they are among the founding 12 members of the breakaway competition.

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has reportedly been at the forefront of the European Super League plans
AFP - Getty

The reaction was immediate and widely condemned across the football community with fears it could have ramifications for the future of the game in England and Europe.

The move has sparked fury from UEFA – who are set to announce a new Champions League format on Monday – and drawn condemnation from the Premier League, Football Association and even the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Now supporters’ trusts, who represent the fans and their best interests, have issued robust statements expressing their fury at the plans.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust have called it a ‘betrayal’ and an ‘opportunistic pursuit of greed’.

Tottenham and Arsenal are in seventh and ninth respectively in the Premier League
AFP

Their statement read: “Tottenham Hotspur was the first British club to win a European trophy. We blazed a trail that caught the imagination of fans everywhere. Yesterday, 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.

“This statement, signed by self-appointed “leading clubs”, was put out late on a Sunday night. It was made not only after no consultation with supporters, but in the face of clearly stated opposition to key parts of the announcement. 

“We have always tried to maintain a pragmatic position of engagement with the Board of THFC, even under the most trying of circumstances. But enough is enough. The current Board is prepared to risk the Club’s reputation and its future in the opportunistic pursuit of greed. One of England’s most famous clubs could find itself expelled from English league competition. Its players could be banned from international competition. And yet the current owners – mere custodians of a 139-year-old institution – are prepared to risk it all for avarice and self-aggrandisement.

“We demand the Board immediately disassociates itself from the breakaway league. Only then can meaningful discussions about change take place. If the Board does not do this, we will have no choice but to call on new owners prepared to safeguard the past, present and future of our great Club to step forward and work with us.”

How the European Super League will work

It will be a new European competition between 20 top clubs

AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as the inital 12 founders

Three more founding clubs will join while a further five teams will qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season

Games will be played in midweek and all clubs will remain in their domestic leagues

There will be two groups of 10 clubs each, playing home and away fixtures within the group each year

The top three in each group will automatically qualify for the quarter-finals

Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions

A two-leg knockout format will then be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue

Arsenal Supporters’ Trust issued a similarly strongly-worded statement as fans reacted furiously at the contempt owners showed for fans.

Their statement said: “The AST deplores the announcement by Arsenal that they are breaking away to form a European SuperLeague.

“This represents the death of everything that football should be about.

“As fans we want to see Arsenal play in competitions based on sporting merit and competitive balance.

“Not surprisingly this action has been taken with no consultation or dialogue, continuing the silence and contempt that Kroenke has shown for Arsenal supporters since day one.

“The AST will do everything we can to oppose this.  It will require firm action by the Government and the Football Authorities.

“We urge all Arsenal fans and all football fans to fight this by speaking up and acting against. By standing together we can see off this greedy proposal.

“The AST will now work with FSE, FSA, and other fan groups at both Arsenal and across the game in opposition to this.”

Arsenal face a fight to even qualify for the Europa League through their Premier League position this season
AFP

A number of fans of clubs also joined talkSPORT to express their dismay at the plans with most feeling embarrassed that their teams have joined up.

David Speedie from the Chelsea FanCast said: “The proposal for a European Super League is a real line in the sand moment for supporters.

“What Chelsea and the others are planning is absolutely disgraceful. It will mean the Americanisation of the game we love and it will destroy the game as we know it based on promotion and relegation and competition and merit.

“I do not know any match-going supporter who agrees with it and many will give up on the game if it goes ahead.”

Robbie Lyle from AFTV said: “I’m feeling embarrassed that my football club have signed up to this and I’m feeling disgusted that my football club, and these other football clubs, are doing this solely to make money.

“If Arsenal want to get into Europe, I want them to earn our position in the Champions League.”

Paul from Anfield South added: “This isn’t good for football, it isn’t good for the competitive nature of football. The top teams are going to get further and further away financially.

“Fans have been left alone.”