Brighton and the Premier League’s other 13 clubs feel ‘angry and betrayed’ over the attempted European Super League, and says the ‘big six’ have a long road ahead win back trust.

The audacious project from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and six other top European clubs fell flat on its face this week following a furious backlash.

The likes of Stan Kroenke, John W Henry and the Glazer family were left humiliated as their project failed

Although the ‘disaster for football’ has been averted, as Brighton chief executive Paul Barber puts it, the anger towards the so-called ‘big six’ remains.

Barber joined talkSPORT on Wednesday following confirmation of the ESL’s demise just says after the bombshell plans were announced.

The Seagulls chief said there’s little trust for the powers that be at the English top flight’s richest clubs right now, but refused to rule out that it couldn’t be gained again.

“Trust takes a long time to build and in this case it’s taken 72 hours to destroy,” Barber told the talkSPORT Breakfast.

“I think it’s going to be quite a long way back for some of the clubs involved to be trusted again, not just by their own fans but by the rest of football.

Barber says the European Super League would have been a ‘disaster for football’
Getty Images – Getty

“But that’s not to say that it can’t happen and clearly for the football pyramid to survive and prosper we’ve got to find a way to move forward.

“In terms of sanctions that’s something for the Premier League and FA but from our point of view as one of the 14 clubs that were not part of this we’re really disappointed with what happened.

“We’re frustrated, we’re angry, we feel betrayed by some of the decisions that were made behind closed doors.

“This isn’t something that’s been going on for 72 hours, it’s been going on for weeks and probably months and maybe even longer. That’s a lot of plotting behind the scenes and shutting everybody else out and leaving us completely in the dark and obviously that’s going to take some time to heal.”

The ESL was fronted by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who was helped by Liverpool owner John W Henry and Man United owner Joel Glazer

Some good came from this frantic episode, however. The way fans, pundits, players and many others in football mobilised in their bid to make sure the Super League didn’t come to fruition has been astounding.

Barber issued a thanks to the fans and reiterated his desire to ensure something like this won’t be happening again in football.

“I’m really pleased today we averted what I think would have been a disaster for football in this country,” Barber added.

“It has been extraordinary. I don’t think it has been great for football at all, to be honest. It certainly hasn’t been good for the six clubs that were involved and I’m just glad we seem to have come through the worst of it with what we hope is the football pyramid and all the competitions we love and cherish so much intact.

Fans all over the country mobilised with Chelsea fans gathering outside Stamford Bridge before their Premier League clash with Brighton on Tuesday

“I can’t think of anything in my 25 years in football that has brought football together quite so quickly in quite such a way. The fans have been brilliant.

“We have all grown up expecting success in football to come from what people do on the pitch, not because the wealthiest or richest or most powerful brands in football guarantee themselves entry into a competition that everyone else is shut out of.

“I think because everyone loves the structure and the history and the tradition that we have ended up where we are today, which is a very resounding no to the idea of a European Super League – and that has been led by the fans.

“It was a real kick in the teeth to football supporters that have stuck through us though a very difficult period when they haven’t been able to see their teams play.

“They haven’t been able to engage with their clubs, and the first time they hear something significant from clubs outside what happens on the field, it was an announcement like this.

“That is shocking. That is not acceptable. That is not the way we in football should be conducting ourselves. We have a responsibility to our clubs, we have a responsibility to our communities, we have to make absolute certain we respect that going forward in every way.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *