Ian Holloway felt proud to be British after watching Prince Philip’s funeral but says ‘that’s gone away’ after European Super League news as veteran manager slams ‘selfish’ owners and claims elite breakaway ‘would kill lower leagues’
Ian Holloway unleashed his furious reaction to the new European Super League plans on talkSPORT.
The popular gaffer admitted he was outraged by the breakaway, as he blasted the greed and ‘utter selfishness’ of the elite club’s owners with their devilish plans to shake-up the game.
It was announced on Sunday that the Premier League’s ‘big six’ of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham have agreed to become founding members of the new ESL.
The move has sent shockwaves through world football, though, with the announcement sparking an immediate backlash and strong responses from UEFA, Premier League, Football Association and a number of top players.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has blasted the ‘snakes’ involved in forming the breakaway and warned any players involved will be banned from the World Cup and European Championship.
Fan groups have blasted their own clubs for their ‘betrayal’, labelling the move ‘the death of football,’ although many – including talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan – doubt whether the plans will actually come to any fruition.
If it does happen, Holloway made it clear he will not be watching.
Speaking to the Sports Breakfast, Holloway said the news left him feeling deflated and sad after a weekend in which he felt proud to be British having watched Prince Philip’s funeral.
Asked for his reaction, he told the talkSPORT Breakfast: “It’s one of pure disgust.
“I spent time watching the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip’s funeral at the weekend and for the first time in a long time I was really proud of being British… but this morning that has just gone away.
“That man was so selfless in his life and I wanted us to come out of this pandemic caring about other people more than ourselves, but the opposite is happening.
“I am totally outraged, absolutely disgusted at how selfish some people can be. The game belongs to supporters, not the owners. Not them!
“For me, action needs to be taken. It’s not good enough to say, ‘no you can’t do it’. It’s not strong enough. They should be relieved of their positions, they should be stripped of their clubs!
“It would ruin the game, in my opinion. The game is about competition, about the underdog being able to catch the bigwig, this is just pure selfishness.
How the European Super League will work
It will be a new European competition between 20 top clubs
AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as the inital 12 founders
Three more founding clubs will join while a further five teams will qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season
Games will be played in midweek and all clubs will remain in their domestic leagues
There will be two groups of 10 clubs each, playing home and away fixtures within the group each year
The top three in each group will automatically qualify for the quarter-finals
Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions
A two-leg knockout format will then be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue
“And the biggest laugh is that Tottenham, somehow, have managed to scramble in there. How have they worked that out? Why aren’t Leicester in there, then? None of it makes sense!
“The game didn’t need to change. This all started when the old Premier League conception happened, English Football League let go of the top flight and that was wrong, but this is even worse.
“What is wrong with the Champions League and having to earn the right to go and play in it? What’s wrong with the current set up? There’s obviously not enough security for these big wigs!
“It’s not what football is all about and it will KILL the lower leagues!
“The teams in the lower leagues need help, most clubs rely on gate receipts for 50 per cent of their revenue to keep them going, because the rich people at the top take the money and won’t give it down.
“We should be looking after the lower leagues of the pyramid.
“I wouldn’t watch this European Super League. Why would you want to watch that elitist nonsense? It’s not a true competition!”