Greedy football club owners need to front up to fans and explain why they're so intent on destroying English football
SO come on then ‘Silent Stan’ Kroenke, find a voice and explain yourself to Arsenal supporters.
Tell them how you’ve run their club so badly that you can no longer qualify for elite European competition through sporting merit and have to cheat your way in for eternity by signing up for a sealed-off Super League.
And silent Joel Glazer and your silent brothers, the slum landlords of Old Trafford, have you got the balls to tell Manchester United fans why they were wrong to protest against your ruinous, parasitic ownership after your leading role in this sordid little coup?
You leached off the genius of Sir Alex Ferguson and since he went, you are nothing.
You have presided over eight years of mediocrity, without coming close to winning the Champions League or Premier League.
And John W Henry, with your ‘This Means More’ and your ‘Unity Is Strength’ guff, let us know why a European Super League devoid of true competitiveness and sporting jeopardy will ‘mean more’ to Liverpool — and tell us exactly what is so unifying about it.
You pretended to buy into the city of Liverpool’s proud, independent, defiant traditions.
You sponged off your club’s unique folklore. Now you have trashed it and defiled it.
No more Merseyside derbies. That’s what you’ve effectively signed up to. Nice line in Scouse ‘unity’, that.
Instead, you just hide behind a mealy-mouthed statement on Liverpool’s official internet channels, including quotes from Glazer — who runs your club’s most bitter rivals — because you are too ashamed to talk about it yourself.
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The Glazers and Henry’s Fenway Sports Group aren’t ‘rivals’. Along with Kroenke, they are shady co-conspirators seeking to impose an Americanised franchise system on elite European football.
And silent Roman Abramovich, you started all this — the trend for foreign owners, with no feeling for their clubs and with no concept of English football’s essence.
You bought into our game to give yourself phony respectability after making billions in the murky world of post-Soviet oil carve-ups.
That money bought you Chelsea, which now enables you to get richer still from Super League bankrollers JP Morgan?
Oh, and silent Joe Lewis, the reclusive Bahamas-based billionaire owner of Tottenham. Unlike the rest of them, you are supposedly a lifelong supporter of the club you preside over.
Aged 84, you’re even old enough to remember the last time Spurs were champions of England — 60 years ago this week.
You must actually have some degree of innate understanding about the 130-year traditions of English League football which you are trampling all over.
Tell us why you think your club, which has won nothing other than the League Cup for 30 consecutive seasons, suddenly reckons itself too good for all of that.
And the sheikhs of Abu Dhabi, who claimed you were do-gooders motivated by the regeneration of east Manchester, tell us why you want to destroy the English football pyramid system your club knows better than any of your ‘elite’ chums.
Apparently, you were the last of England’s ‘Big Six’ to sign up for this atrocity. You felt backed into a corner, we’re told.
The autocratic rulers of an oil-rich Emirate being bullied by the big boys? Oh, spare us.
Like Liverpool, you issued quotes from Glazer about the Super League but none of your own.
Apart from the lying and back-stabbing there is also an astonishing element of bare-faced misplaced arrogance in all of this.
Nottingham Forest have twice as many European Cups as Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and City combined. So, honestly, who do these grubby gangsters think they are?
Cowards, the lot of them. Living in the shadows, operating in silence. Never accountable for their actions.
Never caring about anything other than the next dollar. None of these craven owners will allow themselves to be put under public scrutiny.
We’ll be lucky if we hear from any of their lickspittle dirty-working chief executives either.
Maybe smug chancer Ivan Gazidis will explain a few things. Having ballsed up the succession to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, he’s got his new employers, the once-mighty serial-failures of AC Milan included in this tawdry carve-up.
Nice work if you can get it, that. Instead, it will be left to the managers to act as human shields for owners, squirming under questioning in TV interviews.
Although, a prickly Jurgen Klopp showed his true colours last night — choosing not to fully condemn a scheme which, in the words of Uefa chief Aleksander Ceferin, ‘spits in the face’ of football lovers.
Instead, he moaned about Liverpool fans taking down banners from Anfield and bristled at Leeds players wearing T-shirts telling him to ‘earn’ their place in the Champions League.
Some ‘man of the people’ you are, Jurgen. And what of the players? Many elite footballers have worked their way up from lower leagues and appreciate the pyramid system.
This will not sit easily with many, even if they can quadruple their salaries in the Super League.
Dare they speak out against their current employers? Or their own bank balances?
Ander Herrera of Paris Saint-Germain — the unlikely refuseniks among this season’s four Champions League semi-finalists — was the first big star to condemn the Super League scheme yesterday.
How many more will follow? They all say they miss match- going fans, they all give the impression they care.
Well, fans of ‘Big Six’ clubs are almost unanimously against the plotters who couldn’t give a stuff about the historic community links and family ties which even our grandest clubs are built upon.
Will the slippery six be forced out of English football before full houses are allowed next season? Let’s hope not, as they deserve the howls of derision to ring in their ears.
That’s if Silent Stan, the Silent Glazers, Silent Roman, the silent Sheikhs, silent Joe Lewis and smug John Henry would even dare to darken the doors of an English domestic football match again.
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