Wigan Athletic chief joins Euro Super League debate

Wigan Athletic chairman Talal Al Hammad has voiced his opinion on the proposed new European Super League that is threatening to rip football apart.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 6:26 pm
Talal Al Hammad

And his words will have struck a chord with the overwhelming majority of fans of all clubs who have reacted with universal shock and anger at the plans which will prevent the likes of Latics from even challenging those with their faces in the top-table trough.

“To all the players at all levels and to all the clubs in Europe, regardless of which league you are playing in, you have our respect and appreciation,” he tweeted.

“Without all of you, there is no football. No one is superior, one is distinguished by their principles before everything else.”

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Latics have yet to publicly comment, but they did share an EFL statement which joined in the condemnation.

“The EFL stands with the Premier League, the FA, PFA, LMA, the FSA and colleagues across European professional football in condemnation of proposals which attack the foundation of open and fair competition upon which our game is built,” the statement read.

“A strong pyramid based on promotion, relegation and ultimately European qualification, is fundamental to our game’s continued success.

“The EFL opposes any reform that doesn’t support competition integrity or offer clubs the prospect of one day competing at the highest end of the game.

“Collective reform efforts should be focused on creating conditions that foster long-term sustainability at all levels of the domestic football and remove the current, almost impossible financial pressures created as a result in the huge difference of revenues allocated to the Premier League in comparison to the Championship and Leagues One and Two.

“The EFL has long stated the economics and governance of the English pyramid should be re-set and we remain committed to working with the Premier League, the FA and the game’s stakeholders to deliver that vision, so English professional football can thrive in communities across the country for generations to come.

“At its heart, football is a game for supporters and the widespread rejection of these proposals must be acknowledged.

"EFL clubs are an integral part of the towns and cities from which they take their name and, in many, deliver the biggest single form of communal activity in their local area.

“The EFL’s collective response to the pandemic in the face of significant challenges highlights just how vital they are to the life of the nation and anything that fundamentally weakens that system must be resisted.

“Having pioneered the world’s original League format in 1888, it is ironic that proposals which would serve to destroy the value of sporting merit were announced on the weekend of the League’s 133rd anniversary.

"Across EFL competitions, any club can triumph over another and fans of all clubs regardless of size and status, must always be afforded the hope that successes on the pitch will be rewarded.

“The Championship is one of Europe’s most prominent divisions and the gateway to England’s top tier.

"The introduction of a predominantly closed European competition at the elite end kills a part of the game and the League system we established over a century ago.

“Similarly, the rejection of these proposals, does not represent an endorsement for UEFA’s own proposed reforms, which themselves represent a significant challenge to English football’s domestic programme.

“Under both proposals, the EFL has concerns about the future of the League Cup which provides vital income to EFL clubs, is the breeding ground for stars of the future and provides the top and bottom of the English pyramid the opportunity to win the first major trophy of the season.

"The EFL will continue to work with colleagues across the game at home and abroad, to defend our national game, protect our members and ensure fans continue to have a healthy, vibrant and enduring pyramid system they can continue to be proud of.”

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