The last 48 hours have laid bare the very worst of abhorrent capitalist greed in the footballing sphere but, too, its optimal antidote: overwhelming fan unification.
No, Chelsea fans, who emerged from the whole ordeal with an overriding sense of self-righteousness following their protests outside Stamford Bridge, it wasn’t just you.
The plan of 12 owners of some of Europe’s biggest clubs to break away and form their own Super League has fallen on deaf ears even quicker than Andrea Agnelli could say the word ‘money’. But hey, at least Agnelli didn’t totally tarnish his relationship with UEFA president and close friend Aleksander Ceferin – who godfathers his daughter! – in the process. Oops.
Nevertheless, following widespread condemnation, the six English clubs who shamefully signed up to such an elitist project pulled out one by one on Tuesday night, rendering Florentino Perez’s – who spoke so eloquently about the breakaway league on Spanish television 24 hours earlier (*not*) – masterplan untenable.
The likes of Atletico Madrid and both Milan clubs have since announced their respective withdrawals as well.
Andrea Agnelli speaks
“I remain convinced of the beauty of that project, of the value that it would have developed to the pyramid, of the creation of the best competition in the world, but evidently no. I don’t think that project is now still up and running,” he said.
Thus, it was a mere matter of time before Juventus delivered their own apathetic statement to the fans regarding the failed Super League proposal.
“With reference to the press release published by Juventus Football Club S.p.A. on 19 April 2021, relating to the proposed creation of the Super League, and the ensuing public debate, the issuer clarifies to be aware of the request and intentions otherwise expressed by certain clubs to withdraw from this project, although the necessary procedures envisaged by the agreement among the clubs have not been completed.
“In this context, while Juventus remains convinced of the soundness of the project’s sport, commercial and legal premises, it believes that at present there are limited chances that the project be completed in the form originally conceived.
“Juventus remains committed to pursuing the creation of long-term value for the Company and the entire football industry,” a statement read on the club’s website with clear Agnelli influence. Although, the Juve president didn’t fancy putting his name anywhere near it.
Just the start
In a sequence of events that played out like an archetypal Marvel film, the ‘good guys’ have prevailed – contradicting Jose Mourinho’s claims that such folk “never win”.
However, there’s no denying that Perez & Co. will be back with an updated iteration for their utopian footballing division at some point further down the line.
Agnelli’s quotes suggest that the 12-stooges at the heart of the proposal – the majority of them, at least – genuinely believe that a Super League is the requisite option regarding the progression and development of a supposedly stagnating commodity – exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis – and, hey, it might be.
But, such plans need a ridiculous amount of work if they’re to complement the wishes of fans and the puppets – the players – who, in the eyes of the elite, merely serve a pocket-lining purpose.
There’s little doubting that another Thanos/Avengers-esque duel awaits us in the coming years between the money-grabbing elitists and the sport’s overlooked lifeblood: fans.