In a strongly-worded statement, the Everton FC board accuses the six English Super League rebels, including local rivals Liverpool, of ‘tarnishing the reputation of our league and the game’. Tony McDonough reports
Everton FC have accused the six English clubs looking to take part on the breakaway European Super League of “preposterous arrogance”.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have been on the receiving end of a huge backlash from fans, football authorities, other clubs and senior politicians from all parties following the announcement of the new league on Sunday evening.
They are proposing to join Spanish sides Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona and the Italian clubs AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan in a midweek tournament that they propose would replace the Champions League. They intend to remain in their domestic leagues although there is a possibility they could be kicked out.
A statement issued by the Everton FC board on Tuesday morning said the club was “saddened and disappointed” at the proposals. It accused the six English clubs of “acting entirely in their own interests” and “tarnishing the reputation of our league and the game”.
It added: “Six clubs choosing to disrespect every other club with whom they sit around the Premier League table. Six clubs taking for granted and even betraying the majority of football supporters across our country and beyond.
“At this time of national and international crisis – and a defining period for our game – clubs should be working together collaboratively with the ideals of our game and its supporters uppermost. Instead, these clubs have been secretly conspiring to break away from a football pyramid that has served them so well.
“And in that pyramid Everton salutes EVERY club, be it Leicester City, Accrington Stanley, Gillingham, Lincoln City, Morecambe, Southend United, Notts County and the rest who have, with their very being, enriched the lives of their supporters throughout the game’s history. And vice versa.
“The self-proclaimed Super Six appear intent on disenfranchising supporters across the game – including their own – by putting the very structure that underpins the game we love under threat. The backlash is understandable and deserved – and has to be listened to. This preposterous arrogance is not wanted anywhere in football outside of the clubs that have drafted this plan.
“On behalf of everyone associated with Everton, we respectfully ask that the proposals are immediately withdrawn and that the private meetings and subversive practises that have brought our beautiful game to possibly its lowest ever position in terms of trust end now.
“Finally we would ask the owners, chairmen, and Board members of the six clubs to remember the privileged position they hold – not only as custodians of their clubs but also custodians of the game. The responsibility they carry should be taken seriously. We urge them all to consider what they wish their legacy to be.”
The 14 Premier League clubs excluded from the Super League are reportedly meeting on Tuesday to formulate their response. The Government has also said it will seek to block the plan. Addressing Parliament on Monday, Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said the Government would do “whatever it takes” to protect the national game.
Mr Dowden also announced he was bringing forward a wider fan-led review of the game to be led by Tracey Crouch, a former sports minister.