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European Super League: Even VAR failed to unite rival fans, former players and pundits in their outrage and opposition like this | World news

The news that many footballers had dreaded – but waited for – for decades came late on Sunday night.

It wasn’t a shock, but it didn’t make the way it was delivered any less mind-blowing.

The new “Big 12” – or dirty dozen – has been established after months of behind-the-scenes intrigue. It didn’t matter that Arsenal just won a home draw against Fulham, or that Real Madrid were stuck in a scoreless stalemate by Getafe, or that Juventus were beaten by Atalanta this weekend.

If you’re rich enough, you’re good enough, under the new order of European football. Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer said the plans were aimed at “ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid”.

For all the pleading to help the little people, make no mistake – this league is all about putting more power and money in the hands of the more elite. It is also a declaration of war against the traditional intermediaries of the game, in particular the UEFA and the Premier League. In the statement, it is assumed, with more than a whiff of arrogance, that all teams involved will continue to compete in their domestic leagues.

But with the Premier League insisting that it has the ability and inclination to block the formation of any European separatist league and with UEFA claiming that it will ban all players involved from its international competitions, we can prepare for a few fascinating days to come.

There is still a chance that this could be a breakthrough strategy to gain an advantage in negotiations over the future of existing European competition but, if so, it has been quite a gamble.

Few events – not even VAR – have united rival fans, former players and pundits in their shared outrage and opposition quite like this.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-19 00:59:00