More than 1,000 Chelsea fans gathered in front of Stamford Bridge Stadium to protest the European Super League (ESL) plan ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League game against Brighton, which ended in a 0–0 draw. Fans picked up signs that read: “Football RIP 1863-2021”, “Created by the poor, stolen by the rich”, “We want cool nights in Stoke” and “Roman what is right” – Chelsea affair Owner Roman Abramovich.
After reports surfaced that Chelsea should have retired, supporter Tom Cunningham said it was “over the moon”. “Greed does not thrive,” he said. “We are here, we people, more fans, because of hateful greed and we have won.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson first met with Premier League clubs, the FA, and fan groups, vowing to do everything in his power to kill the ESL scheme. He posted on Twitter before City’s decision was confirmed: “Chelsea and Manchester City’s decision – if confirmed – is absolutely correct and I congratulate them for it.”
ESL 15 with 20 teams was designed by European giants to guarantee income from regular matches against each other, without the risk of not qualifying for the founding members. However, the scheme was also severely criticized by its own players and managers for acting as a closed shop.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said, “It’s not a game when the relationship between effort and reward doesn’t exist. It’s not a game when success is already guaranteed, it’s not a game if it doesn’t matter losing.”
12 teams have signed up to participate in the opening pot of more than 3.5 billion euros ($ 4.2 billion) – significantly increasing their revenues, which were severely affected during the coronavirus epidemic.
According to the proposals announced by late Sunday night, five more clubs, including 15 permanent members, should qualify annually for the mid-week competition. Currently, teams must qualify for the Champions League each year through their national competitions and survive a group stage before reaching the final stages of the profile.
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