Today sees the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust disgusted at the actions of six selfish football club owners showing such a blatant disregard for the fans of not only their own clubs, but football as a whole.
As true football fans, Leeds fans understand the nature of competitive football. We understand the highs and sadly all too well the lows that sporting competition brings. The tears of relegation, the ecstatic joy of promotion.
This season, back in the Premier League has been a wonderful experience tempered only by the absence of fans in the stadium. The highs of results like last weekend stand in stark contrast to the lows experienced over recent times. One thing it did help us to realise is the importance of fans. Not just global TV watching fans but those who for generations and whole lifetimes have dedicated themselves to the support of their clubs. Those who travelled to Hereford away on a Tuesday night in League One, sit side by side with those who witnessed the 2-1 victory over Barcelona in the European Cup semi-final.
Success and to an equal extent failure are key to keeping the game real. Keeping it tangible and something that is in some way relatable to those that dedicate their lives to following it.
The idea of the breakaway ‘Super League’ stands against that notion. It’s about removing competition and removing the potential for failure. By doing so they not only remove the potential for failure, but they automatically remove the potential for success and most importantly they remove the last remaining vestiges of connection with those loyal and true fans who have followed them through thick and thin.
Plenty of non-partisan global customers may wish to consume the content of these skewed European fixtures but the interest will fade when the novelty wears off. Barcelona versus Manchester City is special because its special, a rare occurrence and happens as a result of a meritocracy in qualification. Remove those things and it becomes mundane, unexciting and just schedule filler.
So, in time, when the ‘Super League’ has lost any sparkle or novelty and the only thing left is the exorbitant profits made by the owners, where will the fans be? Likely as not forgotten and simply collateral damage in a battle played out by the mega rich aiming to become even richer.
Fans are at the heart of this game. Fans are the life blood of this game. Without fans there is nothing but a sterilised entertainment product.
We urge all real fans of football to stand against these proposals. If your club are signatories, protest against it. Let them know that you matter. That football matters and that fans matter most.
At Leeds United we have had our fair share of self-interested owners, focused more on what they could take from the club rather than what was best for it. Thankfully at this time, we know our current owners and management are against this and believe in the value of competition and the importance of loyal fans. Long may that continue.
We start today with the protests. Let’s all come together as football fans. Irrespective of club and stand up against this disgraceful greed driven power grab. Together we can push back against this. Together we can re-assert the importance of fans because Together, We’re Stronger.