Gary Neville suggests punishment for the Big Six as owners apologise
Gary Neville suggests a one particular punishment he hopes the Big Six are given as the club owners apologise for their ESL plans.
By 11pm on Tuesday night, all English clubs withdrew from European Super League with the competition set to be scrapped.
Manchester City were the first club to formally pull out after Chelsea had signalled their intent to do so by preparing documentation to withdraw.
The other four Premier League sides – Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – have all now followed suit after the 12-team Super League was announced on Sunday to widespread condemnation.
Now former Red Devils player turned pundit Gary Neville has told Sky Sports: “Quite incredible. I think large concern yesterday morning waking up thinking, for me particularly as a United fan, that Joel Glazer had put his name on a statement.
“Which, you think about what they went through in sort of the takeover of United, they withstood a barrage of abuse, it didn’t bother them, they just went through it. And you just thought it was going to be difficult for them to back down.
“They haven’t backed down yet, but the fact that City have obviously enacted the withdrawal procedure and it looks like Chelsea are on the way, it’s done. It’s finished.
“And they’ll have their PR teams, communications teams scrambling around now trying to make this look as lovely as possible in the next 24 hours, working out what the right time is to withdraw from it.
“Perez might have them on a £100million fine. I hope so! I hope Perez has got them on a massive fine to withdraw, the lot of them. And I hope they basically end up eating each other.”
Amid all the fallout from the highly controversial proposal, Ed Woodward has said he will step down as United’s executive vice-chairman come the end of 2021.
Of all the club statements, Arsenal’s seemed to go down the best with fans, after all, they actually apologised straight off to their fans.
It took for a 10-hour backlash from supporters for John W Henry to apologise to Liverpool’s fans, players and staff for signing up to competition.
In a video message on Wednesday morning, Henry – who bought the club in 2010 – took responsibility for the decision to join the Super League and admitted he had ‘let down’ the fans.
He said: “I want to apologise to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours.
“It goes without saying but should be said that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans. No-one ever thought differently in England. Over these 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you.
“And I want to apologise to Jurgen [Klopp], to Billy [Hogan, chief executive], to the players and to everyone who works so hard at LFC to make our fans proud.
“They have absolutely no responsibility for this disruption. They were the most disrupted and unfairly so. This is what hurts most. They love your club and work to make you proud every single day.
“I know the entire LFC team has the expertise, leadership and passion necessary to rebuild trust and help us move forward.
“More than a decade ago when we signed up for the challenges associated with football, we dreamed of what you dreamed of. And we’ve worked hard to improve your club. Our work isn’t done. And I hope you’ll understand that even when we make mistakes, we’re trying to work in your club’s best interests. In this endeavour I’ve let you down.
“Again, I’m sorry, and I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity brought forward over the past couple of days. It’s something I won’t forget. And shows the power the fans have today and will rightly continue to have.
“If there’s one thing this horrible pandemic has clearly shown, it’s how crucial fans are to our sport and to every sport. It’s shown in every empty stadium. It’s been an incredibly tough year for all of us; virtually no-one unaffected.
“It’s important that the Liverpool football family remains intact, vital and committed to what we’ve seen from you globally, with local gestures of kindness and support. I can promise you I will do whatever I can to further that.”
In the immediate aftermath of the Super League’s announcement, former United player and current commentator Gary Neville demanded heavy action.
“Massive fines, points deductions, take the titles off them, who cares? Give the title to Burnley, Fulham. Let Fulham stay up,” Neville said on Monday.
“Relegate United, Liverpool and Arsenal because those three clubs are the history of this country they should be the ones to suffer most.