Super League plans may have collapsed within 48 hours but forgiveness from football fans will take much longer | Dave Thomas
It’s all there in the book that Mike Smith and I put together on Bob Lord.
All of his forecasts and predictions that have all come true. The dominance of the rich city clubs, money will rule,
professional referees, and now the hot topic, the European Super League. He always said that one day there would be European leagues.
The furore that followed the proposals that were published a week ago was universal from fans, media and pundits alike. The sheer brass nerve of the rich six, the greed of the owners of the English clubs involved and the sheer disregard for anyone else.
The backlash was immediate as fans demonstrated outside their clubs, hung banners and hurled their fury at the clubs.
It was doomed to failure with cracks already appearing within 24 hours, and so we will not say goodbye to future games against the likes of Manchester United. It made me cast my mind back to previous games at Old Trafford such as the 0-0 draw in October of 2016.
Nil-nil you might think, a dull tedious draw, and yet it was anything but and those of us who were there could only marvel at the Burnley display that day and in particular Tom Heaton.
Mourinho was manager on that pulsating afternoon and has there ever been a 0-0 draw as good as this one?
It was a game packed with drama, Mourinho sent to the stands, a red card, penalty claims, Man United rampant, but Heaton unbeatable, impregnable, one of his saves utterly awesome that nearly broke his arm.
Defenders blocked and cleared, United hit the woodwork twice, yet more penalty claims, two good chances for Burnley despite the relentless pressure, and then referee Clattenburg, at last tired of the ranting Mourinho, sent him off.
This was an enthralling game, the word could have been invented for it, the stats were extraordinary, 37 Man United shots, 72% possession, 56 penalty claims, but Clattenburg unmoved by any of them.
My diary notes say that this is what being in the Premier League is all about, the hoo ha, therazzmatazz, the attention, press coverage, Sky features, the limelight.
A few folks say they hate it and would rather be in the Championship. But why? The rest of us love it; the chance for the little club to match the super clubs. Sometimes to even beat them. Did we not win there 2-0 last year?
Did we not win this year 1-0 at Liverpool?
Little Burnley taking on the crème de la crème, making their lives difficult, frustrating them, annoying the hell out of Mourinho and Klopp. Visits to Old Trafford and Anfield are special. But for how much longer we wondered if this Super League went ahead?
But, within 48 hours of the plan emerging, it was doomed with all of the six wanting to withdraw, although the Real Madrid president kept on trying to justify it. Well, he would. His club is £340million in debt.
And so, the whole thing collapsed dramatically like a souffle gone wrong. The condemnation was immediate; forgiveness will take a lot longer.
The greed and arrogance of the rich six will not be forgotten.