Italian journalist Antonio Giordano has suggested that Aston Villa, Ajax, Hamburg, and Nottingham Forest should have been included in the European Super League (ESL).
The ESL now looks to be done just a few days after the 12 founding clubs announced plans for the prospective new competition, with all six of the English sides involved backing out due to the massive backlash.
Figures in the game, the media, and supporters came together to quickly condemn the tournament for a number of reasons, not least because the 15 founder clubs would automatically qualify every year.
The identity of those founder clubs have also been questioned, with some even suggesting that European heavyweights of the past should have been involved – including Villa and Forest.
Giordano, a Corriere dello Sport journalist speaking on Radio Marte, said (via Area Napoli): “Why aren’t Ajax there too?
“They won four Champions Leagues and represented a fertile period.
“I would also put Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, and Hamburg into it, who have represented something more than other teams.”
You can call yourself a true Nottingham Forest fan if you get 80% or more correct on this Reds quiz
Forest won back-to-back European Cups under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor in 1979 and 1980 but have not been a top flight side since their relegation in the 1998/99 campaign.
In response to the ESL announcement, the East Midlands club posted a clip of Clough suggesting that “football belongs to everybody”.
Football belongs to everybody.
Brian Howard Clough. Double European Cup winner.
— Nottingham Forest FC 💙 (@NFFC) April 20, 2021
Forest fans will no doubt love reading Giordano’s suggestion that they should have been included in the ESL, though they’re likely very happy that the East Midlands club was not.
It seems as though the competition is set to fail – proving the power of the united front that those in the game, the fans, and the media have provided over the past few days.
The Reds will hope that at some point in the future they can get back to European football by the proper means, though their first focus will be finishing the season with a flourish and then mounting a serious promotion campaign next term.