The proposed ESL lost a lot of steam recently though when all six English clubs who were initially part of the project (Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur) pulled out, dealing a body blow to the new venture. However there seems to be a long legal battle on the horizon, with the ESL writing to both FIFA and UEFA to say that they are taking legal steps to protect their venture.
TimesofIndia.com ran a poll to ask the fans to give their opinion on five questions related to the European Super League. Majority of fans who voted polled to say that they are not in favour of the proposed league.
The first question that was asked was – Do you support the formation of the European Super League?
Out of a total of 5472 votes that were polled, 3508 votes were polled for the ‘no’ option, while the ‘yes’ option received 1964 votes. The majority of the fans are clearly not in favour of the proposed league.
The second question that was asked was – If the league takes off how will it change club football?
The three options given here were – A) It will change for the worse; B) Not much will change and C) Too early to say.
Not surprisingly, the most number of votes were polled for option A. The “It will change for the worse” option received 2769 votes, the “Too early to say” option received the second most votes, with 1821, while 883 votes were cast to say that “Not much will change”
The third question asked as part of this poll was – The critics of the Super League have called the endeavour “greedy”. Do you agree with that assessment that this is just about money?
Again, it wasn’t a surprise to see as many as 4108 votes being polled for the “Yes” option, while the no option received merely 1341 votes. This is a clear indication that most fans feel that the main motivator for the clubs to come together to try and form a breakaway Super League is revenue generation and that received a thumbs down from the fans.
The fourth question that was asked was – Should the domestic competitions like EPL, La Liga etc. axe the teams who are part of the Super League?
This was of course before the six EPL teams withdrew from the ESL. The fans seemed to be torn on this one, with 2887 votes being polled to say that the clubs should be removed from their domestic competitions, while 2551 votes were polled by fans who felt that such a harsh step should not be taken.
The English clubs, who were initially part of the project put up statements on social media early Wednesday morning India time stating that they are pulling out of the ESL. And it was predominantly the fans’ voices and their shock and anger that made the clubs change their minds.
Arsenal FC tweeted to say – As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League.
We made a mistake, and we apologise for it.
The fifth and final question that was asked was – Would it be fair if players who take part in the Super League are banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros?
This was being talked about as a possible sanction by UEFA and FIFA. And once again the fans sided with the players, echoing the sentiment that the players should not be punished for the decision taken by club executives.
As many as 3464 votes were polled for the “No” option here, as opposed to 1976 votes being cast for the “Yes” option.
The fans clearly feel that it would be unfair for the world bodies to sanction the players and ban them from representing their countries.