Everton released a strong statement on Tuesday, condemning the six English clubs who were involved in the proposals for a European Super League (ESL) and accusing them of “betraying the majority of football supporters across our country and beyond.”

The Merseyside club released an emotive, passionate statement to break the usual mould of corporate, neutral tone. Everton’s decision to condemn six of their fellow Premier League clubs was bold, but necessary. Clubs had to support fans in their protests against the game being taken away from them for corporate use.

Everton accused local rivals Liverpool as well as Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea of “secretly conspiring” in “private meetings and subversive practises that have brought our beautiful game to possibly its lowest ever position in terms of trust.”

The club are clearly upset about the negotiations for a European Super League being so secretive, and rightly so. Premier League Rule L9 states that clubs can only play in agreed competitions, of which the ESL is not one. The six English clubs who agreed to the plans have directly contravened Premier League ruling, and gone behind the backs of everyone else in their domestic competition to do so.

Everton begin four paragraphs of their statement with the words “Six clubs”, followed by “acting entirely in their own interests”, “tarnishing the reputation of our league and the game”, choosing to disrespect every other club with whom they sit around the Premier League table”, and “taking for granted and even betraying the majority of football supporters across our country and beyond.”

By taking aim at these six clubs, Everton are calling out the perpetrators of the proposals in the English game, and standing by the foundations of the Premier League. Everton, a club rooted in history themselves, are aspiring to become a global brand under the guidance of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, but more importantly not losing touch with where they came from.

Moshiri also publicly condemned the proposals on talkSPORT: “Every facet of it is against the very idea of British football. Football clubs are community assets. They belong to fans and their communities.”

The Iranian insisted Everton would never have joined the ESL if invited, and said he thought that the six clubs should be deducted points in the Premier League this season for “attacking the very heart” of the competition.

Although Everton’s club statement did not call for as harsh punishments, it asked “that the proposals are immediately withdrawn” and also asked “the owners, chairmen, and Board members of the six clubs to remember the privileged position they hold.”

The plans indicate that the game of football is being brought into disrepute by those with power in the game. However, the news that the proposals have fallen through shows that if clubs stand with fans, as Everton did through their statement, those with financial power can in fact be overruled by those with the power of community.

This remains a seismic moment in the history of football, and the next step is for those involved in the proposals to steal football to be dealt with effectively and permanently rather than stunted temporarily.


(Featured image under Creative Commons)