Bye Bye Badman: Part 2

“Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we can’t satisfy the rich.”

Football is the playground of the dreamer and the escape of the worker. It is the refuge of the troubled and the company of the lonely. It belongs to me, him, her, you and us; not them. 

The English didn’t invent football – they were just the first to codify it. The founding members of the European Super League haven’t created a new footballing order – it already existed.

Porto look like they could become one of the final three members of the permanent 15 alongside Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. If that is to be the case, it’ll have been 26 years since a non-European Super League member won the Champions League.

Comparisons have been drawn between this and the formation of the Premier League that are simply wrong. The Premier League has flaws in abundance and deserves very little defence but it wasn’t created as closed-shop and it wasn’t created based on a club’s net worth rather than a team’s performance.

Albeit true, the view *insert team name* shouldn’t be in a Super League because they failed to beat *insert a bad team* is knowingly flawed. We know why these 12-15 teams are in the Super League and it isn’t based on meritocracy.

The arrogance and contempt to place yourself as “the best clubs” in the world is mind-numbingly predictable and, yet, still shocking. In the midst of a global pandemic; these opportunists have strategically set in motion the practical elements to remove England’s biggest clubs from England’s domestic league. Then, they’ve told us with a pat on the head and a “so, be grateful”.

There is no going back. They have come, they have seen and they have conquered.

Supporters have coasted along without fighting it. Higher ticket prices, higher-priced TV packages; for what? Less personal engagement with the players you support. Hey, maybe if you pay £500 you can get them to do a scripted video message for you.

Football, after embracing and supporting hyper-capitalism, has reached the natural end-point before it separates in two. The smallest and poorest get poorer – or go out of business. The biggest and richest… you know the rest. The inevitability of it all does not and should not prevent supporters from being enraged and, frankly, saddened.

It is difficult not to write in cliche’s. They don’t care about you, they never have. Stop caring about them.

Our sport will continue. They can’t take our football from the 5-a-side pitch or the jumpers that we use for goalposts. They can’t destroy the memories created or feelings shared.

Football itself will never die. The two 45-minute slots that separate TV commercials and overrated rants for social media sound bites on a Sunday afternoon might have died, though. That’s not all bad, is it?

You don’t have to accept it. You can rage against the machine and you probably should do. But… why? Why fight for these clubs and these owners to be a part of our game? Let them go and, quite frankly, good riddance to them.

Arsenal and Manchester United were created by workers, Atletico by students, Barcelona has fought perceived injustice against them by the Spanish state throughout its history, Liverpool have made millions off the idea that they are a “socialist” club.

It is betrayal of everything that football should and does stand for in its simplest form.

“The most valuable thing is the happiness that we are able to provoke in those that struggle to find happiness in other ways away from football.” – Marcelo Bielsa

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