Joe Cole slams ‘STUPID’ and ‘out of touch’ owners of Big Six clubs who signed up for European Super League… while Steve McManaman calls for Government to produce legislation ‘so they cannot do it again’
- Football is still reeling from the shock European Super League project last week
- Joe Cole has slammed the owners of the Big Six who signed up to the league
- The ex-Chelsea winger described the owners as ‘stupid’ and ‘out of touch’
- Steve McManaman called for Government ruling to stop this from reoccuring
Joe Cole slammed the ‘stupid’ owners of the six English clubs who signed up for the highly controversial European Super League last week.
The six Premier League sides – London rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, Manchester clubs City and United along with Liverpool – joined six other teams from Spain and Italy in creating the self-elected league to replace their UEFA commitments.
All six English sides pulled out of the project after major backlash from football fans and other high-profile figures in the sport – but Cole, who works for Chelsea as a youth coach, claimed football must be aware and prevent another saga from forming.
Joe Cole has slammed the ‘stupid’ owners of Big Six clubs who signed up for the Super League
England’s Big Six signed up to the controversial, self-elected breakaway league last week
Cole told BT Sport: ‘What staggered me was how out of touch (the owners) were. To this day, I cannot fathom how they thought “oh all right, we’ll do a European Super League now”. How stupid (can you be)?
‘The only positive is that they backtracked lively, that’s the only good thing that can come out of it. They’ve shown their hand, we know what they want to do.
‘And we have to be vigilant now and whether it be sanctions so that they never get this through under a new guise – a European Super League mark II.
‘Football is for the people, the people have spoken and they like it how it is I’m glad we are here.’
Tottenham’s Daniel Levy (left) and Liverpool’s John W Henry (right) were two owners involved
The Super League project allowed the 12 founding clubs, along with three others, to be elected automatically into the competition every year – irrespective of their league performances.
Five other teams would earn the right to come into the competition each year in a 20-team competition overall.
Fellow BT Sport pundit Steve McManaman echoed Cole’s request to protect English football and stop the owners from repeating this move again.
The former Liverpool midfielder said: ‘There will have to be some form of legislation to stand above it all so they cannot do it again. If they are to come out again next year and refine this model, in theory they can.
Other owners involved were Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke (left) and Man United’s Joel Glazer (right)
‘If they can take on UEFA again and say, “We want to own the Champions League and take all the money,” who is to stop them?
‘But we don’t want it to dilute and interfere with the English game – even if they refine that (the 15 automatic places) and refine the competitive nature to get it through the door.
‘But here we need to put something in it to say it will not hinder the Premier League, the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, whatever it is.’
Rio Ferdinand, who revealed his initial concerns that this year’s Champions League run-in would not take place due to the involvement of Super League clubs in this year’s semi-finals, admitted that it may be too harsh to punish the clubs.
Steve McManaman asked the Government to step in and stop the project from ever happening
He added: ‘I was worried and concerned that we would not be here and that the season may not Champions League would not finish because a cartel-like group came together who obviously showed us they had no idea how the landscape lied within football.
‘They did not consider fans, they did not consider mangers, the players and managers were left out to dry. They did interviews not knowledge of what was going on. It seemed underhanded, that was the feeling in everyone’s mouth and why there was such a brutal reaction.
‘Punishing the clubs is far-fetched, they are not to blame, but if there are ways owners can be punished then yes, let’s do that.’
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