19 Apr 2021 12:08:20
I think there is a need to step back and avoid any snap decisions that may or may not look foolish in the weeks, months, and years to come.

The European Super League (ESL) is certainly an unsavoury topic and will rightfully upset and frustrate many fans. Yet the reality is a shake up of this nature has been a long time coming, while the global C.V. and its financial impacts will have only worked to accelerate this situation.

While our club is fairly secure, there are many great European clubs whose financial position was precarious before the global C.V. They will now be scrambling to fill financial holes in their accounts that will run into the hundreds of millions.

I reserve judgement on the whole situation until what will transpire becomes fully clear. Just last night the idea of the ESL was thought to be an end to those clubs competing in domestic football. Whereas now it appears that the ESL would just be an alternative to UCL or EL football.

Most fans on here have agreed that UEFA and FIFA are corrupt organisations that wield too much power, yet now many of those people now feel that the power shouldn't be taken away from them/ reduced.

Their hollow threats about banning players from the World cup or the European championship is just that hollow. It's a last-ditch attempt to try and threaten the elite clubs to toe the line. The reality is that they don't want to lose the most prestigious players from their own tournaments. Yet if losing them from the UCL/ EL is so damaging then why would they then ban them from their other competitions. It would be the ultimate cutting your nose off to spite your face move. At most they would do it for one tournament before rescinding it.

I think we also need to appreciate that this is not a new thing, or something out of left field. Discussions have been held since the mid 90's on a shake up of the current system. Those who remember the European cup and its format will appreciate the changes that were brought in during the 1993/ 94 season, changes designed to benefit the bigger clubs. Group stages designed to avoid top sides getting knocked out early, seeding for the group stages designed to keep the big sides apart until the latter stages, the champions of some European leagues entering during the qualifying rounds, while teams that finish 2nd or 3rd in other leagues going straight to the group stage.

The UCL which ultimately is what the ESL would replace/ be in direct competition with has been designed and altered to the benefit of the European elite. To celebrate our win in 1999 or 2008 while condemning the very idea of the ESL could be considered to be hypocritical. The ESL is just the next natural step in European club competition which started all those years ago when they changed the European cup to the Champions league.

That's why I feel its best to take a step back, and just wait and see what the outcome will be. Rather than jumping in and picking a side before we even know what each side stands for. I appreciate that some people fear the change, they may even believe this is the end of football. Yet the reality is the top tier of English football went through a rebranding/ structuring in the creation of the EPL, the same thing with the European cup/ UCL, the UEFA cup/ EL. These restructure/ rebranding happen periodically. Rarely is it the collapse of the system.

Outside of football 3 years ago Brexit was either the glorious rebirth of the UK or the beginning of the end. Yet here we are three years later, and little has changed. The country has seen neither a rebirth nor a collapse (fortunately) . While a bad flu strain has put the whole Brexit fiasco in its place. The world keeps spinning and the sky hasn't fallen.

If after everything that has happened in the past 5 years, the worst thing is your club plays in a different European cup competition then congratulations you only have first world problems.

Let's sit back and watch this unfold before we judge whether it's the worst thing to happen to football since VAR.

1.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 13:08:32
Leicester city did the impossible and won the PL against all the odds, with the size of the club and the gulf in financial clout they have compared to the big boys it was a phenomenal feat. For that achievement they got to play on the biggest stage at club football, deservedly so, with the chance of being drawn Barcelona or Madrid for instance. Why should that be taken away from them? Why do we and other clubs have a god and given right to play in the “elite” league without qualifying for it? Christ we only get to the CL every now and then these days. Arsenal another who barely get in anymore, Tottenham another. It’s nothing short of a disgrace.

The people who run the clubs don’t give two rubbishs about their true core supporters, it’s all greed and money and a kick in the teeth to all the working class who have followed these clubs home and away over the years.

The whole thing stinks, and our club with these owners if rotten to the core: I’m literally disgusted with everything we’ve become to stand for.

2.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 13:47:50
Stand, this isn't something new. How many of us mock the signing of new sponsors but enjoy the club flexing its financial might in the transfer market.

We are a long way from the core of footballs roots. Most EPL teams struggle to name British players for HALF of their starting 11, let alone a team full of local players. How many Mancunians have you seen regularly play for us in your life time?

If you ask most United fans to name their favourite United player, most wouldn't name a British player let alone a Mancunian.

How many of Manchester United's fans were born in the shadow of Old Trafford? How many have even been to Old Trafford? That doesn't in anyway diminish their connection to the club, but just highlights that our club is a global club now, and it has been for a long time.

If you want something pure, something untainted by everything that football has become then get yourself along to your local non-league club every Saturday and stand in the rain to support them. As the reality is that is the only part of football that still has its soul.

I don't think its fair to come on here and demand the club make expensive signings like Haaland or Kane this summer then complain about the club attempting to protect it's income.

How can you demand the club spends 120-150m on one player but have an issue with the club attempting to ringfence its income to enable those sort of transfers?

I agree I don't like what has been proposed, but the reality is I have supported a club all through the 90's, 00's, and 10's that has exploited its popularity to increase its wealth. I'm a long way a way from being able to claim some moral high ground or faux outrage at what was always the next logical step for a club that looked to increase its wealth long before the Glazers rocked up. In fact the Glazers were only able to buy our club in the manner they did due to the greed of the former owners.

I appreciate that for some people this might be the straw that breaks the camels back, but let's not pretend we weren't aware of the mountain of straw that was there before.

3.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 13:49:22
Shappy. You couldn't have put more rubbish in that post if you tried mate.

First of all the club's know damn well they can't just start their own tournament and get away with it. If you think the domestic game is not under threat because of this then you're wrong!

Talking about the Premier League or Champions league is a different kettle of fish. This isn't a re-branding of a competition, it is the start of a new federation of football. They will not coexist.

You're going to "wait and see" what transpires. The same 15 teams given an extra 400 million quid a year is going to improve the game?

As for your Brexit comment. As something from Ireland who works for the Department of Foreign affairs, I can tell that the number of U. K citizens who have enquired about Irish citizenship is in the hundreds of thousands. Thousands can't work abroad, thousands have lost businesses abroad. Just because it hasn't affected You, doesn't mean there isn't a tough road ahead for millions of citizens across the U. K.

You're economical situation wasn't affected and as a United fan you'll benefit from the Super League, but this isn't about where your allegiances lay. This is about the greater good.

Billionaire owners moving to a competition with no incentive to do well is a catastrophic event for the sport.

If you think the Glazers, Kronke, FSG give two rubbishs about the landscape of football they'll leave when they cash out you're incredibly naive.

Make no mistake. Football is under attack by men and women who would would burn it to the ground to make money.

You can wait and see what happens but by then it will be far too late.

4.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 14:01:12
We have to face the fact that the old financial structure based on attendance at games is essentially a thing of the past. The top clubs are receiving maybe 20% of their revenue from gates. Long gone are the days when clubs had to purchase their own kit. Imagine the financial impact from CV had this shift in revenue sources not already taken place.

So while many of us will rue the next stage in the transition from "Association" to "Money" rules football, it is probably inevitable in some form or another. If playing in an ESL means no League Cup, do we care? The glamor of the cup competitions has been fading anyway. Even the FA Cup isn't what it once was. From a selfish perspective a mid week game against Real Madrid or Bayern Munich would be more enticing than a tie against Colchester.

Yes, it may mean that the economic system that's sustained 4 professional divisions in England will require a re-evaluation. Maybe that would be a good thing.

Ironically, if the top European teams are playing against like opposition week in week out, maybe it will force them to field weakened teams at the weekend thereby opening up the potential for more Leicester City like EPL titles. Either way the game is now an international media spectacle, not a domestic attendance one, so perhaps commensurate changes are inevitable.

My biggest concern would be the loss of the promotion/ relegation/ qualification dynamic which has kept a high % of fans interested right up to the last day of the season, something the franchise system fails to achieve. Without it the game as we have known it will be irrevocably altered, and I do believe it will be for the worse. Much of the interest will be gone. In the rush to globalization the underlying tribalism that's driven football supporters is likely to to be superseded by more specious forms of support, completely divorced from hometown.

5.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 14:24:29
Shaw, what happens when Leicester win back to back league titles. Do They not deserve a crack at the top European trophies?

Arsenal and Spurs in a Super League? You're having a laugh!

We struggle to consistently finish in the top 4 of our league and people think this is a good idea?

6.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 14:47:44
Unfortunately, that bad flu strain brought the sky falling in on the millions of people who died or were infected with C.V., not to mention all the families around the world who lost a loved one. I know you're trying to put some perspective on the ESL debate but C.V. shouldn't be brought into it.

7.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 14:53:56
Under the proposals Leicester as Champions would play in the European Super League Mumbles.

{Ed002's Note - No.}

8.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 15:24:00
No they wouldn't Grim, that's the problem.

We'll have created a new God tier of football that is unattainable to the rest of the football world.

9.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 15:15:04

"Yes, it may mean that the economic system that's sustained 4 professional divisions in England will require a re-evaluation. Maybe that would be a good thing. "

What you are essentially saying there is its unimportant if some century old clubs are eradicated for this new league. As long as the top clubs are well looked after. Communities are built around football teams and I very much doubt you would be saying such a thing if United were to be folded so that Man City could get an extra £400m a year. This isn't about United being able to afford their new shiny players, this is about preserving historic football teams and the league. People devote their lives to football teams throughout the pyramid, but that is unimportant to you as long as you can see United play Juventus twice a year.

I will look forward to your opinion when they inevitably begin to move games off shore to attract more foreign crowds, or if after a long period of no investment in playing staff and facilities United lose their place in this tournament. Would be great to get your opinion then on how, what these people are doing is for the good of football.

10.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 15:18:09

As yet the Germans and French have declined to participate and without Bayern and PSG it would be a very incomplete European Super League.

I can only speak from my own perspective as a Manc and United fan since 1962, now living in the US. When I got here in 1982 there was no football to be had and so I missed at least a decade. It was hard to even find out the results. The TV expansion was a great thing. It allowed my son to share my passion. But the other side of the developments that gave me access again to watching United regularly was that the game became a media spectacle, and our club, maybe first of all, became primarily a marketing company.

Change is inevitable. To oppose the globalization of the sport is not dissimilar to being a supporter of Brexit, which is to say, a return to the idea of domestic sovereignty and control over the evil force of the global elites.

11.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 19:50:45
And lower league football just dies and clubs allowed to dissolve. Clubs that still play an integral part in local communities. Hopefully this drives attendance back to proper clubs?

12.) 19 Apr 2021
19 Apr 2021 22:10:02
@Shawthing that is a lot of words to basically say you don't care. Reminds me of that quote "First they came for the socialists but I did not speak out because I was not a socialist". When the football world is looking to disregard the other teams, it's probably best to support them, as otherwise no one will be there for the big clubs when this all collapses.