Read Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher’s passionate rallying cry to stop European Super League

Alex Young
·6-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have launched a passionate plea to those involved in football and fans alike to unite in a fight against the proposed European Super League.

Twelve clubs - including the Premier League's so-called 'big six' - are part of plans which would fundamentally alter the shape of European football.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, former Liverpool and England defender Carragher said he believes supporters and those within football can stop the Super League getting off the ground.

“[My thoughts are] no different to Gary and every supporter up and down the country,” he said. “What I would say is this is not Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Man City involved, this is John Henry and FSG, this is the Glazers, this is Roman Abramovich, Sheikh Mansour, Stan Kroenke, Daniel Levy - these are the people to blame for this.

“What they’re doing right now is dragging institutions we’ve seen in this country for over 100 years basically through the mud, burning the history of what those clubs are about because from your own club’s point of view, the only reason Liverpool are in this or have a chance of being in the Super League is because they’ve won six European Cups or 20 league titles, only one each came under FSG.”

He added: “My message to everyone is that these clubs think this is a done deal, I don’t think it is,” he said. “Supporters up and down this country can stop it and I really do believe it. At the forefront of that will be Liverpool because I have seen it before.

“We have tribalism in this country, we have rivalry and that is what makes the game the way it is and that is what we love. Football fans get together - all of us in TV, pundits, players, managers get together and stop this.

“It can be stopped and I am convinced of it. Going forward that is what we need, marches on stadiums, supporters getting together, it should not be allowed to happen.”

Neville was angry before the confirmation of the plans on Sunday night and, following official word, underlined his thoughts.

"I said yesterday that I thought it was a criminal act,” he said. “I was half-hoping, I went to bed about 10:15 last night, so I didn’t see the statement when it came. I was half hoping that they were going to, off the backlash, the media reaction, the immediate fan reaction was awful towards it, I was hoping they would re-think it. When I woke up, I saw the statement and it had Joel Glazer’s name on it, I thought: ‘This is a problem, big problem’.

"He doesn’t put his name on anything, that man. He’s intelligent, he knows what he wants and he’s parked his weasels and he’s come out. This is serious, he’s not backing down, he’s going to try and push this through. Once he puts his name on it, he’s going to try and force this through. They’ve been through hell at Manchester United in the early years. They don’t care, and when I saw his name on it, I was really worried.

"I’m enthused by the reaction of the Government, by royalty, by the whole of football, by the fans, but if they get this through, if they push this through and these owners have pushed difficult things through for their clubs in the past. Levy is steel-like, the Glazers are steel-like, Abramovich is hard as nails, he won’t care about criticism. It will change football in this country forever, forever, and we have to now mobilise, organise, it’s difficult not to get emotional and feel sick.

"But you have to write to your MPs, you’ve got to write to your local football clubs, everybody’s got to come behind this. Pundits for BBC, ITV, BT Sport, forget allegiances, forget who you support, we’ve got to come together to stop this proposal. This is an attack on everything that’s been important in this country, football has helped in the last 10 months in the midst of pandemic, more than ever, to keep people going, and they’re trying to take it away from us.

"I feel slightly complicit, I stayed pretty quiet in terms of the Glazer family over the years, I stayed quiet because when the club were taken over as a PLC, that you know it could be bought and it was out of the control of everybody, a completely different market, generally in life and I always thought: ‘What’s the answer to the Glazers? Who takes them out, Russia, China, state money, for the two or three billion quid it would need?’. I’ve stayed quiet on the basis that it’s still Man United, I can still watch the lads play, I can be happy and I can be sad, I’m still watching football in this country.

"If they take dividends out, alright, it’s dividends, I can live with it slightly. What I can’t live with is attacking every single football fan in this country, they have stepped over the mark, they are scavengers and they need booting out of this football club and booting out of this country. We have got to come together now, it might be too late.

"There will be people at Man United, fans that were arguing 15 years ago that will say it’s too late, but it’s never too late. We have got to stop this. It is absolutely critical we do."

Similiar proposals over a European Super League have been mooted previously, but Neville explained why this time is far more serious.

He continued: “They’ve created a monopoly, a closed shop, a tournament where you're guaranteed to be in it. West Ham and Leicester are in a Champions League place, forget it, they don’t get into the Champions League anymore, it doesn’t matter where they finish in the league. What’s the point?

“They’ll take away everything from this country: the pyramid, the sincerity of competition, the honesty and integrity of competition that we value and they’re taking it away.

“Yeah, we know that Manchester United have more money, we know that Liverpool have more money, we know that Arsenal have more money, we can live with that. There will always be top clubs that have more money, but they can be beaten by Sheffield United at home, they can draw with Fulham - and they’re trying to take that away to create franchise football.

“Never, it can never happen, I don’t think these six owners, I hope they’re panting hard tonight, feeling uncomfortable and their stomachs are churning and the executives and players who play for these clubs.

“I can’t sit here and say to the players of Liverpool and United to go on strike because that wouldn’t be right, but lads, if you’ve got it in you, you can stop this, you can mobilise it. Jurgen Klopp can stop it, he’s a man of integrity, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can stop it, he’s a man of integrity, they can all contribute to stopping it and we must all come together to stop it now.

“This is an attack by six national families on the integrity of our national sport and it must be stopped.”

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