‘No respect for fans’ – Port Vale owner condemns European Super League



Plans for a European Super League have been condemned by Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan.

The English ‘Big Six’ – Manchester United and City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea are among a group of 12 clubs who have announced they intend to found a new league.

That is being opposed by UEFA, the FA, the Premier League and other national leagues and supporters groups.

There are concerns that, in the long term, a move that damages the Premier League could also harm lower division clubs because solidarity payments from the top division could be reduced.

Initial European Super League plans suggest there could be 20 teams in total, made up of 15 founding clubs who would be permanent members, plus five places left open to qualifiers every year.

Shanahan said the idea of a league in which some clubs couldn’t be relegated goes against football traditions.

She said: “I think it is boardroom decisions to answer corporate challenges. I don’t think it is anything to do with football, or fans. I think it is purely money.

“It is showcasing football, it is not competitive football.

“For competitive football you have to have relegation and promotion.

“If you look at Port Vale’s season, we had a huge dip in form and we were going down the table. That caused me and my team to have sleepless nights.

It was obvious that Port Vale as it was, wasn’t working properly, so we had to make significant changes. So, we brought in a director of football, we went out to get the very best manager for us, that fitted us.

“We then supported him, worked with our team to turn it around, and we got six wins on the bounce and are in mid-table.

“What would this season have been if relegation wasn’t a possibility? What would we have said? ‘It doesn’t matter. We will end up bottom and it will be fine?’

“That isn’t a competition. Fans come into a ground to watch the football, but to watch their team getting three points, that’s what it’s about.

“What’s the point doing that if you have no promotion or relegation?

“It has no respect or value for the fans. What they are saying is, ‘we don’t need a fan to come through our turnstile to make money from them, they just need to tune in on their subscription channel. So, we don’t need to see them.

“That is not what football is for me.”





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