James Corden delivered an impassioned denunciation of the Super League proposals that have rocked football and warned the game’s future is at risk.
The TV host opened his popular US late night show with an emotional monologue decrying plans which critics say will cause irrecoverable damage to the sport.
The so-called Big Six of the English Premier League have faced a furious backlash to their proposals to breakaway and form a European Super League, with Boris Johnson among those condemning the move.
Corden, a West Ham fan, joined the dissenters during the latest episode of The Late Late Show and became emotional while outlining his opposition.
He joked no-one in his American audience cares about the goings on in European football, but said the “monumental” announcement had outraged him.
Corden said: “I’m heartbroken by it, genuinely heartbroken by it. I’m heartbroken because the owners of these teams have displayed the worst kind of greed I’ve ever seen in sport.”
London-born Corden said British football teams are historic institutions with working class roots and are not the same as franchises in US sport.
He compared the Super League, which would allow its founder members access on an historical basis rather than merit, to an imagined scenario where A-list actresses Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Saoirse Ronan and Viola Davis carve up Oscar nominations for themselves.
And Corden condemned the owners of the clubs – including Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona – for taking the game away from fans.
He said: “It’s hard to express how much these communities rely on football, not just financially, which is considerable, but football is like a focal point of a town’s hopes and dreams, that’s what it is, you know?
“And these dreams, they’ve just been shattered not just in Britain, all across Europe. And the reason these dreams have been shattered and discarded is so that a group of billionaires can buy themselves a bigger boat, or a second boat.
“Football is a working class game where anyone can beat anyone on their day, and it’s that that makes it incredible, it’s that that’s made it the global force it is today.”
Corden said the Super League would stop another fairytale triumph similar to Leicester City’s Premier League title win in 2016.
He added: “And if this happens, and unfortunately I really do think it will, I don’t want to be over dramatic but I do think it’s the end of the sport that we love. It truly is. I think it’s going to happen and I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it.”
Corden urged fans to remember the names of the owners who made the decision and said: “Don’t ever forget that it was them, those owners. They took something so pure and so beautiful and they beat the love and the joy out of it and they did it for money. They just did it for money. And it’s disgusting.”