Jon Cruddas: 'European Super League was a disgrace'
Jon Cruddas MP, Dagenham and Rainham
- Credit: PA Images
Like most people interested in sport, particularly football, I was appalled by those six Premier League clubs looking to breakaway and set up a so-called European Super League.
Appalled but somehow not shocked. Not shocked because we have seen these club owners over recent decades turning our national sport into a cash machine for wealthy businessmen.
This is an issue I have been arguing about for many years, not someone hopping on a bandwagon, but someone passionate about football.
There were so many aspects that were a disgrace. Their attempt was a distortion of the concept of sport; the self-chosen ones couldn’t be relegated and access to their elite group would be up to them.
This wouldn’t just have been damaging to clubs such as West Ham, it would have gone all the way down the football pyramid and devastated grassroots football. No question about competition and merit.
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Some interesting ideas are coming up from genuine football supporters on new models of club ownership to make them accountable to their supporters, the people who stand by their teams through thick and thin.
Germany has pioneered these initiatives and football is thriving there. We have had small examples here where fans have rescued clubs and brought them back to life under different types of ownership - Wimbledon, Accrington Stanley and in Scotland, Motherwell are all cases in point
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What’s clear is that wealthy owners of football clubs have little feel for the working-class community roots of our national game.
Perhaps this could be the catalyst to open up a wider discussion on giving people more say in whose interest the economy works.
Anyway, I can assure you I will be watching and giving my support to ideas that emerge to protect and nurture football.