European Super League: Crystal Palace’s Steve Parish wants reforms after ‘coup to try and steal football’

·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has branded the failed European Super League an "attempted coup" to try and steal football from its supporters and has called on the authorities to go further in response.

The Premier League's ‘Big Six’ withdrew from the plans one by one on Tuesday night before trying to appease their supporters in statements and videos after the criticism and anger became too much.

Aleksander Ceferin, the Uefa president, has praised the clubs for their withdrawals and welcomed them back into the European football fold.

But Parish has warned they cannot come back as things were before.

“Let’s face it, this was an attempted coup," Parish told BBC Breakfast on Wednesday.

"This was a coup to try and steal football. And what happened was, which is fascinating, is fans, players and staff said: ‘We are going to fight for the right to lose’. We don’t want to be in some kind of elite where there is no jeopardy and no risk.

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"The best banner I saw was: ‘We want our rainy cold nights in Stoke’. The miscalculation of this is quite spectacular and I see this morning some of them still haven’t stood down, which is extraordinary.

"But the reason they have done that is they still want to exert pressure on Mr Ceferin at Uefa, because behind this last week they banked already incredible gains in the Champions League."

While chaos ensued on Monday, Uefa still passed reforms to the Champions League which would help protect bigger clubs should they have a poor season, allowing established teams who finish outside of the top four in the Premier League a route back in because of their history, not sporting merit.

Parish has long spoken out against the reforms and says football must continue to fight against them.

The Palace owner added: "This has got to be the end of special voting rights, people who sit next to Mr Ceferin on committees that as clubs they shouldn’t be on, of all of the privileges of coefficient that award them extra money based on an arbitrary period of history.

"What Uefa need to do is start looking after the game - and stop pandering to these people and trying desperately to keep them inside the tent. They are going to be inside the tent now, whatever happens. 

“And the Ajaxs and the Warsaws shouldn’t be playing qualification tournaments in the summer, when they won their league, in favour of an Arsenal or a Tottenham, who leapfrog an Aston Villa or a Leicester, into the Champions League because it is better to get those teams in for one year’s TV revenue.

"This is a fantastic day for football, but let’s not rest here and allow them to bank the gains that they got before.”

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