Why I won't be watching Aston Villa vs Manchester City - The Death of Football
It's just gone midnight on the 19th of April. I should be sleeping or watching something on Netflix, but instead, I am the most incensed I've been in a very long time. I'm sure by now that you'll be aware of the so-called 'Big 6' clubs' proposal to join 6 other clubs from around Europe in a newly-formed European Super League. This piece serves as me speaking my mind about it and, towards the end, I'm going to offer a suggestion as to how you can have your voice heard too.
To begin, there is nothing "Super" about this "league" at all. This is one of, if not the biggest disgrace in modern footballing history. It is nothing more than a sick attempt at a cash grab to monopolise the sport we love and keep rich people rich. The people who advocate for this do not care about football - they care about money. They don't see the importance of it in our lives - they see us as a fluctuating bank balance. This is a coup of our beautiful game, all for the sake of safeguarding extortionate wealth whilst watching clubs with equally and if not more passionate fan bases die out.
The timing of this announcement, midway through a global pandemic (where the realities of finance shortages have transcended all cultures and creeds) and a football season of such great importance to the wellbeing of those who follow it is, quite frankly, absolutely abhorrent. These billionaire owners have no place in football, and they certainly have no right to be attempting to callously assassinate domestic football all across Europe.
I welcome the criticisms highlighted by Gary Neville after the conclusion of the United-Burnley game. I strongly agree that the governing bodies of football cannot accept this and, regardless of whether or not this league goes ahead (which I am confident it will not, by the way), any club attempting to circumvent the principle of a fair competition by joining this exclusive "elite" group should be severely punished with immediate effect. I'd also like to give mention to PSG, Bayern and Dortmund for refusing to be part of this atrocity. The German clubs have something special with the 50% + 1 rule that actually puts the fans at the heart of the running of the club. I've had my fair share of criticisms for PSG too in recent years, but they have my respect for putting morality over money in this instance.
Despite all this, I'm of the belief that if they want to do it, let them go. These clubs are nothing but a cancer on our sport that pocket our hard earned money yet view us as nothing more than cattle fuelling their businesses. I hope that players, managers and other individuals from all across the game let their voices be heard and stand up for what is right for the many and not for the very select few - several of whom CATEGORICALLY do not have the right to claim any form of superiority over our club, any of the other 14 or the 92 and beyond for that matter.
The Premier League will never die because we lowly fans simply will not let it. Similarly, European competitions will live on without these giant clubs because the opportunity arises for clubs like ours to make international household names for ourselves, to become the new leaders of the pack and revolutionise the game in a way that puts the people who care for it so much first.
I will not be watching Villa this Wednesday against Manchester City. I love my club with all my heart and can say with confidence that as one of the original founding clubs of the football league, we would never betray what we stood for in forming that league by pulling a stunt like this. My non-viewing will be a protest against the appalling behaviour of those at the top of our opposition's hierarchy, alongside the other 5 clubs who's greed makes me sick to my stomach. I would encourage fans on both sides to do the same to highlight that we, the paying public, will not stand by and watch corporate greed suck the life out of OUR game any longer.
In addition, I would implore fans on all sides to write to your club and urge them to condemn these plans as soon as possible. I would also suggest that fans of these 6 clubs MUST make their feelings known in some way. Boycott watching games. Disengage with your teams on social media. Issue statements as supporter's groups and, ultimately, when the stadiums reopen, as tempting as it may be, DO NOT GO. We all have our part to play in saving the game we know and love.
If things do pan out how these aristocratic narcissists hope, this is not the end for football, but the beginning of a new and improved version of it. If this is what those clubs want, bring it on; the majority will always end up on top.