Gary Neville has lambasted the Premier League ‘big six’ following an attempt to form a breakaway Super League.
A fan-led review is underway, courtesy of the government, which will reportedly take a look into ownership models.
“We nearly lost it, we nearly lost football in this country, in the way in which we’ve always known it which is fair and competitive. And we nearly lost our top six clubs from it. How can we be in that position ever again?” the pundit told Sky Sports.
“Most of us would go along with a theory of an apology is acceptable. An apology is not acceptable in this instance, with regards to the six clubs. It can never be accepted, because last Sunday what they announced was the attempted murder of English football.
“They attempted to kill English football forever, and they would have done it if they could. They attempted to take £300m extra every single year for the next 23 years as a guarantee for a different competition that other clubs couldn’t get into.”
READ MORE: Sky Sports journalist reveals the PL club Barcelona & Real Madrid blame for ESL mass exit
The 46-year-old made clear his opinion that the clubs in question should not simply be welcomed back with open arms without severe consequences being dished out for their involvement in the European Super League plans.
“Any punishments that can be handed to those six clubs in the short term should be given to them. Any punishments that can be given to them legally should be given, I’m absolutely certain of that,” Neville said.
“Do I want these six clubs in English football? Absolutely. We need them in English football. The Premier League is done without these six clubs, and they know that it’s done. We’d lose what would be a large part of the history of English football, but they have to be punished in whichever way they can.
“I think most football fans would be in support of the German model, but we don’t have that in this country, and it’s how we reverse out of that – the only way is not going to be through individual declarations for each club, it’s going to come from government legislation.”
The suggestion of the German 50+1 fan-led model is one that has been circulated, which would, in practice, hand more power to the fans in the running of their clubs.
It’s something we’d certainly support in the bid to build a climate of greater transparency and trust, though it’s difficult to see the owners willingly signing off on a new model that severely detracts from their level of control.
Whatever sanctions our meted out in the meantime, we’d still encourage those involved to consider how punishments might indirectly harm the players and coaches rather than targeting those responsible – the owners.
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Can’t someone sanction Nevilles big mouth.
I’m done with listening to him
What really pisses me off is the likes of Neville, executives of the other 14 PL clubs and UEFA Chairman, Aleksander Čeferin, name-calling, blaming and finger pointing, yet not one of them has come up with a practical solution that is the mess that football finds itself in. The ESL, as doomed as it was, highlighted what we are all thinking but powerless to act against. That is that the powers that be use football for their own gain and screw the players and fans alike. Be angry, protest but stop name-calling and using rhetoric like some school yard bully. It is not helping but only adding to the fire. Deducting points, stripping titles, just because you can makes you just as guilty as the 12 who wanted the ESL. Using your power to get what you want. The likes of Neville and Carragher for that matter should STFU and come up with solutions rather than adding to unnecessary fuel. That goes to the other 14 clubs too.