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BACKLASH: Oliver Dowden slams European Super League plans

 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has slammed plans for a European Super League as the UK government vows to fight the proposals.

Dowden addressed the House of Commons on Monday following an announcement by the 12 founding members, of which, six are Premier League clubs.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all signaled their intent to take part in the breakaway league.

The football world was stunned when the announcement was made, and the government has acted swiftly to condemn the news.

 

Prime Minister’s Response

 

Boris Johnson met with officials from football governing bodies the FA and the Premier League, as well as fans' representatives on Tuesday.

Following talks, No 10 confirmed it would take “whatever action necessary” to stop the plans going ahead.

Downing Street went on to add that “no action is off the table” as the government sent a clear message.

The Prime Minister had labelled the plans as “ludicrous” when first asked about them on Monday.

 

Oliver Dowden

 

In his statement to the Commons, Dowden spoke highly of the history of football in this country: “Football is in our national DNA. We invented it, we helped export it around the world, and it has been a central part of British life for over a century.

“Football clubs aren’t just businesses; they define communities across the country.

“These six clubs announced this decision without any consultation with football authorities, or with the government. But worst of all, they announced it without any dialogue whatsoever with their own fans.”

As he moved away from the significance of football, the action that could be taken was then discussed: “We are examining every option, from governance reform, to competition law, and the mechanisms that allow football to take place. Put simply, we will be reviewing everything the Government does to support these clubs to play,” Dowden added.

“I want to reassure this House of a very robust response. We will do whatever it takes to protect our national game.”

 

Nationwide Review

 

Perhaps the biggest signal of intent from the government was the announcement of a fan-led review in to football: “I have been left with no choice but to formally trigger the launch of our fan-led review of football,” Dowden said.

“The review will be chaired by the Honourable Member for Chatham and Aylesford [Tracey Crouch] and will be a root-and-branch examination of football in this country.

“It will cover the financial sustainability of the men’s and women’s game, financial flows through the pyramid, governance regulation and the merits of an independent regulator.

“Crucially, in light of this weekend’s proposal, it will also consider how fans can have an even greater say in the oversight of the game, and the models which might best achieve that.”

The sustainability of the European Super League proposals remains to be seen, but one thing that is certain, is the unity of those that oppose it.


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