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Opinion

Chelsea at last get their suitable punishment for Super League involvement on Saturday

5 months ago
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Like the rest of you, I watched on as Manchester City faced Chelsea on Saturday night.

As a Newcastle United fan, trying to decide who I most wanted to lose.

I’m sorry if it offends any of you strange people who want other English clubs to get ever richer and more powerful by winning in European competition, but that is me, I always want the English club to get beat.

Well that is, unless it is not one of the six, such as Leicester or Wolves say, who have played recently in the Europa League and indeed the Foxes got to the Champions League quarter-finals in 2017.

Saturday night was tough though, Manchester City and Chelsea, two of the ‘big’ six and all that.

I decided marginally that I wanted Chelsea to lose more than Man City but it was a close one, in the end I had to have a bet on the game, so that I definitely wanted any particular outcome.

You all saw what happened, a very competitive match and Chelsea deservedly edging it.

I say ‘deservedly’…but as I watched them celebrating at the end and especially Roman Abramovich in the stands, it suddenly struck me, just how sickening all of this was. For Newcastle United fans, for Everton fans, Villa fans, Leeds fans, Burnley fans, Southampton fans, pretty much every fan of every other club AND not just fans of those clubs in the Premier League.

Can you believe that it was less than six weeks earlier when Chelsea (and the other 11) put out a joint statement saying that they would no longer be part of any kind of normal European competition, they were inventing their own where Chelsea and the other self-appointed 11 all automatically took part each season, without having any qualification process.

A few others would also be afforded this level of access, whilst a token handful of clubs from outside their hijack plan, would be allowed to qualify each season to take part, to try and make it look as though this wasn’t a complete cash and power grab by the dirty dozen.

By forming a private invitation only European Super League, the 12 clubs were effectively killing off the Champions League and indeed, killing off any faint remaining idea that football was something for all, for the masses, not for a small group of self-interest mega rich people trying to ensure they get ever richer and more powerful at the expense of our game / sport.

So there on Saturday night, less then six weeks after announcing proudly that they were part of a plot to kill off the Champions League, Chelsea are there celebrating winning…the Champions League.

You quite literally, couldn’t make it up.

Of course, it would have been the same difference if Man City had edged it, or indeed Real Madrid who were knocked out in the semi-finals.

Indeed, ironically, for so long cast as arguably the worst example of the super rich ruining football, PSG and their owners were now suddenly the good guys, the only Champions League semi-finalists who weren’t part of the dirty dozen plot to steal football.

I return to the point, less than six weeks earlier in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of the 2020/21 league seasons, in the middle of the 2020/21 Champions League competition, these twelve clubs had been conspiring month after month how they were going to destroy football and have their own private club, simply to ensure they became richer and more powerful, every season in the future, at the expense of everybody else.

At the point they went public on Sunday 18 April, any of those 12 conspirators who were still involved in European football competition should have been instantly thrown out, so Chelsea, Man City and Real Madrid from the 2020/21 Champions League and Man Utd and Arsenal from the Europa League.

The response of the authorities and the other clubs to the shameful actions of the European Super League plotters has been feeble.

I haven’t heard of any punishment from the Premier League, apart from club officials from the big six will no longer hold places on the secretive committees that dictated what happened with the Premier League, no doubt they will just have set up other secretive private committees that only the big six will attend.

Before Saturday’s final we had seen Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea all finish top four and all allowed to then be the Premier League representatives put forward for the 2021/22 Champions League competition. This only FIVE weeks after all four had announced they were forming their own private league and washing their hands of the Champions League and having to qualify for anything!

Chelsea and Manchester City of course, are two of the clubs that have held their hands up, laughably almost claiming that they were actually innocents in all of this, somehow swept along by others, never really wanting to be part of this self-appointed future of certain participation, money and power year after year…

In reality, it was the backlash, especially from the fans of the dirty dozen clubs, well certainly the Premier League ones anyway, that had made them quickly realise they weren’t going to get away with it.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are the only three seemingly determined to somehow still try and force this European Super League through.

The other nine – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, plus AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid – have now said sorry and committed to UEFA and its competitions.

The Champions League punishments so far have been:

The nine clubs have agreed to make a combined 15m euros (£13.4m) goodwill contribution to benefit children’s and grassroots football across Europe.

They will also have 5% of Uefa competition revenues withheld for one season, starting in 2023-24, and this money will be redistributed, including in the UK.

The nine clubs face fines of 100m euros (£86.9m per Premier League club) each if they seek to join an unauthorised competition in the future, and a fine of half that if they breach any other terms of the declaration, Uefa said in a statement earlier this month.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin when the punishments were announced in early May 2021:

“I said at the Uefa congress two weeks ago that it takes a strong organisation to admit making a mistake, especially in these days of trial by social media. These clubs have done just that.

“In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, Uefa wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit.

“These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football.

“The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called Super League and Uefa will deal with those clubs subsequently.”

So, after attempting to steal the future of football, this is the punishment they got!

Chelsea are obviously the ones who are laughing at the rest of us the loudest BUT the rest of them aren’t far behind.

No wonder they keep on trying these things when the punishment is so minimal and it is of course why beyond doubt, they will try again in the future. They will bide their time and then simply dress their plan up as something slightly different but the intention will be the same.

Chelsea, the 2021 winners of the Champions League, that is what the record books will say, but as for what else went on…conveniently forgotten.

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