‘I’ve been critical of this club before… but this is ANOTHER LEVEL!’ Gary Neville SLAMS Manchester United for backing new European Super League and labels American owners as ‘passengers in the night’… as he tells fans to FORGET about the Glazers
- Twelve European clubs have signed up for a new European Super League
- Manchester United and the English ‘Big Six’ have all signed a letter of intent
- United legend Gary Neville let rip at his beloved club and their American owners
- Utd co-chairman Joel Glazer is confirmed as a ‘vice-president’ of the new league
Gary Neville has blasted his beloved Manchester United for backing the new controversial European Super League that was announced last night.
A total of 12 European clubs – including United and the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ – confirmed plans for the breakaway competition, which have been met with near-universal uproar.
United co-chairman Joel Glazer, who hasn’t attended a United game since April 2019, insisted in a statement that the Super League would ‘increase financial support for the wider football pyramid’ – but United legend Neville did not hold back when asked about the club’s American owners on his podcast for Sky Sports.
Gary Neville has slammed Manchester United and the club’s American owners (co-chairman Joel Glazer, right) after the announcement of a new European Super League
Manchester United are one of 12 European clubs who have confirmed their involvement
‘Forget them [American owners], they’re nothing to do with this football club – they’re just custodians,’ Neville said, in a brutal assessment of the Super League plans in the wake of United’s 3-1 win against Burnley on Sunday.
‘The fans that come into this ground are the people who matter – we want competition. Forget them [Glazers]. They’re nothing to do with this club in terms of the actual history of the club and the long-term future, they’ll be gone.’
‘They’re just passengers in the night as far as I’m concerned. I’m fuming that Manchester United Football Club, that have been pioneers, that should be leading from the front, and looking after clubs in this country, there’s National League clubs going bust… the whole pyramid is struggling.’
Glazer has been confirmed as a vice-president of the new league, and his statement in full read: ‘By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.’
The decision threatens to split English football, with the Premier League on Sunday night indicating in a letter to clubs that it would not sanction any such competition, giving United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham no choice but to back down or break away.
UEFA, who are due to announce their own proposals for a revamped Champions League on Monday, reacted with fury to the news which had broken earlier on Sunday, and Neville was similarly outraged.
Neville let rip at United for backing the plans (pic, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward)
‘The timing is the second point. For Manchester United Football Club to vote for this is disgusting,’ he added.
‘The timing of it, in the midst of a pandemic, an economic crisis in this world, to demonstrate greed instead of compassion is an absolute shocker as far as I’m concerned.
‘I’ve been critical of the people in this football club in the last few years for some of their football decisions – but this is another level. This is another level. You can put all the other five owners in the same box.’
Ex-United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who managed the club to numerous trophies in 26 years at Old Trafford, said the plans would be a move away from ’70 years of football history.’
Fans, politicians, governing bodies and some of football’s most famous names joined in condemning the staggering development, which was the brainchild of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
A simple opening paragraph which shook the world of football declared: ‘Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.’
The new European Super League is the brainchild of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez
Sir Alex Ferguson said the proposals would be a move away from ’70 years of football history’
Major US bank JP Morgan, a former employer of Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, are debt financing the new league which will see founding clubs receive £3.03billion, which is set against future broadcast revenue.
Meanwhile, a letter sent by Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to all 20 member clubs, took a similarly strong stance. ‘We do not and cannot support such a concept,’ he wrote.
One source described it as ‘a US-led operation’, adding: ‘This is down mostly to the Americans at Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal who have believed for a long time that they should be making a lot more money.’
SUPER LEAGUE FULL STATEMENT AND COMPETITION FORMAT
Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today [Sunday] come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs.
AC Milan, Arsenal, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs.
It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable. Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.
The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.
The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.
In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions. The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.
• 20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season.
• Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game.
• An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter finals.
Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue.
As soon as practicable after the start of the men’s competition, a corresponding women’s league will also be launched, helping to advance and develop the women’s game.
The new annual tournament will provide significantly greater economic growth and support for European football via a long-term commitment to uncapped solidarity payments which will grow in line with league revenues. These solidarity payments will be substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition and are expected to be in excess of €10 billion (£8.7bn) during the course of the initial commitment period of the Clubs.
In addition, the competition will be built on a sustainable financial foundation with all Founding Clubs signing up to a spending framework. In exchange for their commitment, Founding Clubs will receive an amount of €3.5 billion (£3bn) solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic. Florentino Pérez, President of Real Madrid and the first Chairman of the Super League said: ‘We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.’
Backing the new European league, Andrea Agnelli, Chairman of Juventus and Vice-Chairman of the Super League said: ‘Our 12 Founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies. We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models.’
Joel Glazer, Co-Chairman of Manchester United and Vice-Chairman of the Super League said: ‘By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.’
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