A LOCAL football chief has welcomed the collapse of the proposed European Super League, saying: “It is a good day for football.”
The decision of the English football's so-called “Big Six” — Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs — to break away and form a “closed shop” elite league threatened to change the domestic game in this country for ever.
That threat was averted by the decision of the English clubs, Athletic Madrid and Inter Milan to withdraw this week, causing relief among football lovers right down to grassroots level.
They included Wilf Race, chairman of Maltby Main, who echoed the thoughts of many with his sentiments.
“Football is all about competition and without the thrill of chasing promotion or the excitement of avoiding relegation, once you take that out of the game then it isn't a game,” he said.
“It was worrying to wake up to that news about the Super League. You usually get a bit of a drum roll and some noises coming out about it beforehand.
“Everyone football fan voiced their opinion about it and the result is what we got. It's a good day for football.”
Clubs lower down the scale have been indebted to cash support from the Premier League during the pandemic.
The country's much prized football pyramid, which allows clubs to progress purely on merit, has been protected when it might not have been had there been a splintering at elite level caused by the breakaway league.
Wilf added: “Credit where credit is due, decent amounts of money have filtered down to us at our level to help us through Covid. Without that it would have been difficult.
“You have to ask yourself would that money have been available at this avenue had the Super League been successful?
“There is no clear answer to that but the fear is it would have disrupted it and put a lot of clubs in jeopardy.
“The wages at the top that we cringe at now would probably have been increased even further had this league gone ahead.
“It's an unlimited pay cheque at that level.
“The football pyramid in this country needs looking after.”