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Premier League release statement after Super League protests lead to cancelled match

5 months ago
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The highlight of watching Newcastle’s match with Arsenal, was when the updates were given on Manchester United v Liverpool.

Sky Sports showing hundreds of Man Utd fans wandering around (the inside of) Old Trafford, having forced their way into the stadium pre-match.

This all part of the delayed wake up call for all fans of English football clubs of how the game has been stolen away from us, with the grotesque European Super League attempt being the considerable straw that broke this particular camel’s back.

It is gratifying to see that as well as failing to steal even more of the power and cash, the owners of the ‘big six’ are now the ones who are facing the sharp end of the protests.

Chelsea had to delay kick-off of their home match with Brighton due to protests blocking the roads around Stamford Bridge, with Manchester United v Liverpool going a massive step further with the postponement of Sunday’s match, the Premier League releasing the statement below in response to the forced action.

The fact that this was Manchester United v Liverpool being postponed was particularly glorious, the top match of the season’s TV offering for Premier League chiefs and the rest, due to the fact it involves the two clubs with the most gloryhunters around the UK and of course Worldwide.

That Premier League statement declaring:

‘We understand and respect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated COVID-19 breaches.

Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.’

Hmmm, what exactly are these ‘channels by which to make their views known’ for fans of Premier League clubs?

When has the Premier League shown any interest whatsoever in taking note and most importantly, acting on, the concerns of supporters?

It has only been due to the fan backlash against the European Super League attempt, that this cosy arrangement of the executives of ‘big six’ clubs deciding major decisions between themselves, has been really brought to the fore and exposed. The executives from the six clubs forced to resign from these small committees that were dictating what happened.

Whether that cosy arrangement will end up becoming something far better and more democratic between all 20 clubs remains to be seen. Fans hoping that now the underlying threat of a Super League that the ‘big six’ held over the rest to get their own way has been shown to be a threat far more difficult to put into practice than they imagined, will now embolden the rest of the clubs to demand an equal say and most importantly, equal power.

The virus situation has probably helped to bring a lot of issues into sharper focus and now with the scheduled return of fans (25% of capacity up to a maximum of 10,000) only two weeks away, you can imagine the frantic meetings that are now being held to decide how to handle these remaining weeks of the season.

Fans in Germany have an impressive history of working together on important issues, coordinating protests nationwide in a show of power and solidarity. For far too long it has been so easy in England, where fans of the various clubs have failed / refused to work together for a common goal, certainly not in major numbers.

I think there is a consensus now where fans of Premier League clubs are looking closely and seeing just how disgraceful the running of football is in this country.

So unless there is some real substance towards making the wants and needs of supporters top of the agenda, now that fans have seen how easy it is to disrupt, delay and even postpone matches, it isn’t difficult to imagine in the very near future a situation where across the Premier League there could be coordinated protests outside and / or inside stadiums to force the clubs / authorities to take notice.

Premier League Official Statement – 2 May 2021

‘Following the security breach at Old Trafford, the Manchester United v Liverpool game has been postponed.

This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities.

The security and safety of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance.

We understand and respect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated COVID-19 breaches.

Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.

We sympathise with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football.

The rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated in due course.’

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