Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin has lambasted the decision for 12 teams to break away from UEFA and create the new European Super League.
In plans that have been in the pipeline for a long time now, the ESL was confirmed late last night after strong rumours during the day that an announcement was to be made – just a day before UEFA Champions League reforms were due to be rubber-stamped.
Early news broke during Sunday afternoon’s Premier League fixtures, and two of the 12 founding ESL members – Arsenal and Manchester United – were both in action at the time.
The plans have led to a furious backlash from fans, pundits and governing bodies alike, with Gary Neville’s impassioned speech following United’s victory over Burnley grabbing the most attention.
FIFA and UEFA have both expressed their disapproval of the competitions as well and considering all the ESL clubs have now resigned from the European Clubs Association, it looks like there’s no way back for them.
22 facts about QPR’s football shirts over the years – But are they genuine or fake?
One footballer who has made his point very clear is Charlie Austin, who has made it very clear that he is dead against the formation of the ESL.
“Football as we know it in this country is going to be smashed to pieces!” Austin tweeted.
Football as we know it in this country is going to be smashed to pieces! These 6 clubs are a shambles and just proves this game is all about money to them! Void the league cup final Sunday!! Dock them all points and relegate them! No longer the working mans game!!!!!
— Charlie Austin (@chazaustin10) April 19, 2021
“These 6 clubs are a shambles and just proves this game is all about money to them! Void the league cup final Sunday!! Dock them all points and relegate them! No longer the working mans game!!!!!”
Expect many more players – perhaps not ones who are contracted to clubs in the ESL though – to come out with this viewpoint.
It’s hard to believe that there’s been a more negative reaction in football than this one and it seems really tone-deaf from the big English clubs especially, who now face being kicked out of the Premier League if they go ahead with these plans.
Austin will be one of the first but won’t be the last player with some name value to make a stand and it will be interesting to see what the teams do next after such backlash.