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19 Apr, 2021 17:32

‘Created by the poor, stolen by the rich’: Furious Manchester United fans protest club’s European Super League plans

‘Created by the poor, stolen by the rich’: Furious Manchester United fans protest club’s European Super League plans

A section of Manchester United fans have begun a protest outside the club's Old Trafford stadium in opposition to the club's stance on joining the upstart European Super League, which has prompted a civil war within the sport.

Manchester United are among six English signatories for the proposed European breakaway league which has threatened to uproot the existing norms of European football in favor of a cash-happy model, with critics saying it would serve only to enrich Europe's elite and drive a permanent wedge into the spirit of competition which has governed football since its inception.

A vast majority of fans of each of the clubs involved have expressed their opposition to the plans. At Old Trafford, one of the spiritual homes of English football, supporters gathered on Monday afternoon to voice their concerns and present the type of united front which they say is entirely absent from the newly-announced plans.

"Created by the poor, stolen by the rich," read a banner unfurled in front of the famous stadium, while supporters from various other football club also undersigned the message.

"Amazing how hating the Super League is uniting the entire world," said one.

"For the first time in history I agree with United fans," added another.

Protests are also expected to take place at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday ahead of Chelsea's Premier League fixture with Brighton.

A rare joint statement from the supporters' clubs of the six English teams announced as being involved in the competition was highly critical of the actions of their teams.

"We are working urgently and closely with each other, and with the FSA [Football Supporters' Association] and FSE [Football Supporters Europe], to fight these proposals," they said.

"Despite our clubs' behavior we are unified in opposition to them and we will continue to do all we can collectively to stop these plans.

"This includes seeking joint representation to the Government and all of the relevant football authorities. We will issue a more comprehensive statement in due course."

The sentiment was also summed up by a caller to UK talk radio. "A team died in 1958 to play in Europe, and this is our history being thrown away for money by owners who know nothing about Manchester," they said.

In another act of solidarity between fierce footballing rivals, fans of both Liverpool and Chelsea have combined to remove their supporter flags from both The Kop and Chelsea's Shed End. 

"We, along with other groups involved in flags, will be removing our flags from The Kop. We feel we can no longer give our support to a club which puts financial greed above integrity of the game," was the message from a Liverpool supporters' group, which was subsequently echoed by their Chelsea equivalent.

"In solidarity with Liverpool and The Kop we will be requesting that all banners from The Shed End are taken down," they said.

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