21 Apr 2021

EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE CLUB WITHDRAWAL

The LMA welcomes the decision of the six Premier League clubs to remove themselves from the European Super League proposals. We recognise the fans and the game’s many stakeholders for their powerful and effective collective demonstration of opposition. There is no place in our game for clandestine collusion, driven by opportunism, with such a blatant disregard for the history and integrity of our game. We hope we do not see similar behaviour or proposals in the future.  

Whilst the European Super League proposals may have failed, the challenges we collectively face in football, especially those brought on by the COVID pandemic, are still very real. The current financial situation for many clubs in the English game, and across Europe, is stark. Clubs are community assets, significant contributors to local economies and employers of dedicated, hard-working managers, coaches, players and club staff. Many of their futures are under threat, whilst the game’s governance and regulatory structures leave their positions constantly unstable and vulnerable to exploitation or mismanagement.

Now more than ever is the time for positive reform across English football, from the grassroots to the men’s and women’s professional game. The views expressed with such clarity, consideration and passion over the last three days, by numerous clubs, managers, coaches, players and fans from all levels of the game, demonstrate that their collective voice matters, and that there must be a more unified and collaborative approach to decision making on all important issues in the game. 

The future of football should be one that upholds the values of integrity and transparency. Owners, and those responsible for the direction of the game, must be more connected to, and significantly more accountable to the game itself. The game should adopt a club licensing system that sets out a clear and unified governance structure, with consistent game-wide checks and balances, as previously advocated for by the LMA, and as was proposed by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Report on Football Governance, 2011.   

The LMA has called for a more unified approach in the game before, and we repeat that call now. We welcome the government and all political parties’ engagement in football over recent days and we commit to continue to work constructively in taking forward this opportunity for meaningful and lasting change.