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by Andrew Learmonth
20 April 2021
Renewed calls for fan ownership amid controversy over European Super League

Renewed calls for fan ownership amid controversy over European Super League

The row over the European Super League has reignited calls for fan ownership of football clubs in Scotland.

Both Scottish Labour and the Greens said the clubs need to be treated as community assests.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling on broadcasters BBC, Sky and Amazon to reject the ESL proposals by committing to not televising its games.

The comments came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with senior football officials to discuss the controversial ESL plans.

Plans for the breakaway competition triggered an outpouring of anger on Sunday after it was announced Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham  planned to join six other European clubs as "founder members" of the new league which would play a series of high-profile midweek games but would not see them being promoted or relegated based on performance.

In a statement after the meeting, Downing Street confirmed the Prime Minister had offered his "unwavering support" to national officials to take "whatever action necessary" to halt the plans.

Calling for fan ownership of clubs, Labour MP Ian Murray, said the game “belongs to the fans – not to a cartel of billionaires at the top”.

Murray, who was previously chairman of the Foundation of Hearts supporters’ movement, added: "Scottish Labour is determined to reinvigorate the game in Scotland from grassroots to national team by supporting fan ownership of clubs and reform of the game at all levels in Scotland.

"Clubs are at the heart of communities across Scotland, and many have been hit hard by the pandemic.

"That’s why Labour is committed to democratising and energising the game in Scotland.

"Labour is back on the pitch, but too many football fans feel stuck on the sidelines.

"That’s why Labour is dedicated to supporting the future of the game in Scotland and putting fans in control, from the dugout to the directors’ box from grassroots to the governance of the game."

Alison Johnstone, the Scottish Greens’ spokeswoman on sport, said: “The sums of money involved in the European Super League are absolutely eye-watering.

"Its formation shows what happens when profits and greed are allowed to dominate football.

"As the famous quote says, football is nothing without the fans, and it is no wonder that so many are opposed to this move.

"In Scotland we were successful in ensuring that fan ownership has been pushed up the agenda.

"It is a model that has worked around the world, and something that is badly needed to stop the sort of moves we are seeing now.

"Football clubs are community assets and should be in the hands of those who care most about them.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone has now written to BBC, Sky and Amazon urging them to refuse to broadcast any Super League Matches.

He said: "For many years now, we have seen Premier League football evolve into a money-making machine that places greed above fans and the communities they represent.

"The Super League proposals are the most extreme example of oligarchs and tycoons robbing fans of the game we love.

"I suspect that if these plans go ahead, fans will boycott European Super League games."


Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - Scotland has voted for a second independence referendum, says Nicola Sturgeon

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