It’s “farcical” to hear football’s bigwigs bellyaching about a breakaway football division, says Alex Brummer in the Daily Mail. The Premier League, Fifa and Uefa “hate the idea of a commercial challenger breaking up the oligopoly”. But these organisations have barely lifted a finger to tackle racism and inequality in the game or the spread of gambling around it. In fact, Fifa, with “endemic self-interest”, has been pursuing a World Cup in Qatar next year, where migrant workers have reportedly died in their thousands on stadium construction sites.
Greed within the Premier League establishment “has never been more obvious than in the pandemic”, and change isn’t coming from the top. It took an individual player from Manchester United, Marcus Rashford, to take a stance before the issue of child poverty was acknowledged, clubs like Manchester City to raise the profile of women’s football and Chelsea to take on anti-Semitism. The game’s rulers have enjoyed “the fruits of the big bucks for too long”. At least the 12 Super League clubs – including Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs – are pushing for reform.
But they’ll have a battle on their hands. Meanwhile, antiquated TV deals are also strangling the game, thanks to the rise of illegal streaming, while no one can reasonably argue the £3.6bn fee that Sky pays for Premier League trickles down. Time for a shake-up. “Bring on the Super League.”
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