Could the backlash stop the European Super League before it's started?

Credit: PA

While the wealthy architects stay resolutely silent and hide behind their spin doctors, the vacuum they’ve created is full to overflowing with opposition to their audacious breakaway plans for a closed shop European Super League.

Boris Johnson’s government is threatening everything at its disposal to stop this in its tracks; FIFA has told the “dirty dozen” who are part of the proposal to be prepared for consequences; UEFA has described the participants as "snakes" and "liars"; one-by-one high profile Premier League players (Marcus Rashford the latest) are volunteering their opposition and there’s barely a fan in the country who’s been asked about it who hasn’t used the word "greed" in their response.

Sources at the Super League say the owners were expecting this backlash and frankly are not unnerved by it.

Those same insiders say talk of a couple of the Premier League’s Big Six getting cold feet is nonsense and even if they were, the contract they’ve signed is binding so they couldn’t walk away easily. Or cheaply.

But there’s no question that momentum against this money printing enterprise seems to be growing rapidly and all it would take is just one crack to bring the edifice down.

A banner left by Manchester United fans objecting to the club’s decision to join the European Super League, Credit: PA

The main instigator, Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez, has spoken to Spanish TV and said his plan was to save the game of football which he says is dying. It would be an argument worth investigating more closely if his club wasn’t nearly a billion euros in debt which seems to render any talk of altruism all but unbelievable. 

The Premier League met on Tuesday, without the Big Six clubs, of course, who are temporary pariahs, and unsurprisingly rejected the Super League outright.

Fans burn a Liverpool replica shirt outside Elland Road against Liverpool's decision to be included amongst the clubs attempting to form a new European Super League. Credit: PA

They added they were pursuing all actions available to prevent the Super League getting off the ground and will hold the Big Six to account under Premier League rules.

If the Super League doesn’t give up the ghost then talks with UEFA and FIFA are inevitable, it just seems unlikely to happen while the temperature is so white hot.

The government will be watching that very closely but in the meantime will be doing its homework, just in case it needs to step in.

They were expecting opposition but I’m not convinced they were ready for such widespread and heartfelt anger. That is what happens when you are prepared to trample over tradition and history to turn your billions into billons more.