Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has condemned plans for a European Super League involving some of Europe’s top clubs.
Official confirmation of agreements from Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea to join the new competition caused uproar on social media on Sunday evening, whilst Manchester United and Manchester City decided to just release a statement on their club websites – presumably to shy away from their own supporters.
Speaking on the plans that have the overwhelming majority of the football world dismayed, Hasenhuttl said:
"“The message from the Premier League was a very clear one and I 100% agree with what they say. For me, it is absolutely unacceptable what is going on behind the scenes. Nobody wants it, not even the fans of the clubs that want to go there. Hopefully we will find the right steps to not let it happen.”"
Clubs like Southampton will be weighing up potential ramifications
To set the situation out straight, the “top-six ” clubs in England have joined other teams from Italy and Spain in signing up to the European Super League, which is planned to replace the UEFA Champions League in their season schedules.
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Fans of all clubs involved and others have reacted with disgust. It is essentially an exclusive party for the most wealthy clubs planning to create a tournament with no failure – founding members will always have their places in the competition secure.
A strong response has been seen from UEFA and all of the national governing bodies involved. Clubs could be excluded from the Premier League and any other domestic football competition if they go through with Super League plans.
There are suggestions that this is all being used as a major bargaining chip by clubs not in favour of a new Champions League format, but the reckless actions of the owners so far show that they have little care for what they will leave in their wake.
Disruption to the football pyramids around Europe – mainly due to so much value being instantly removed – could be fatal. Many clubs are in financial turmoil already after dealing with the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic and things could get even worse.
For Saints, the removal of the biggest clubs in their league would mean better chances to win domestically. However, there will surely have to be many things that are sorted to ensure that clubs like theirs can continue to operate as they have with a Super League situation alongside.
Hopefully, for the history and mutual enjoyment that English football has provided as it is now, this will all pass over and we can look towards a normal 2021/22 season with the crucial fans back as central stakeholders.