CRACKS are ‘starting to appear’ in the European Super League plans with two Premier League clubs ‘losing nerve’ after the furious fan backlash.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have cancelled an all-staff meeting scheduled for Tuesday to explain the club’s ESL plans.
The Reds were joined by Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs signing up for the new closed-shop breakaway franchise.
As founding members, they would be guaranteed involvement every season for 23 years with huge financial gain while abandoning the English game.
Supporters, pundits and now footballers, including Liverpool’s James Milner, have made their feelings clear that they do not want the Super League to go ahead – with the 12 owners chasing more money.
The reaction has been passionate and clear – the clubs have got the message this is not what the overwhelmingly vast majority want, with banners and demonstrations set to continue outside grounds for the foreseeable future.
The remaining ‘angry and dismayed’ 14 Premier League clubs are meeting today to discuss how to deal with the other six – and could even order them to quit the division.
And now, according to the Daily Mail, seeds of doubt are creeping in with two of the six top-flight English rebels ‘close to losing their nerve’.
It is thought their support of the proposed ESL is ‘wavering’ – although it is unclear whether that will mean a U-turn in their plans.
However, one board member from the six told Sky Sports News on Monday: “To be honest, they are not that worried about PR.
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“Our primary job is to maximise our revenues and profits. The wider good of the game is a secondary concern.”
But This Is Anfield say this meeting was canned soon after full-time of last night’s 1-1 draw at Leeds.
Chief executive Billy Hogan sent an email to staff on Monday to begin to explain the club’s actions – which have drawn particular criticism from Sky Sports pair Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.
The email said: “We know that this announcement has provoked strong feelings within the game and elsewhere but we believe this decision is in the best long-term interests of Liverpool Football Club.
“Importantly, this is the beginning of the journey and we can now start an engagement process with you, supporters and key stakeholders to help shape this process in the right way.
“There is still much more information to come in due course.
“I will keep you updated as we progress on this journey and discuss further on our Town Hall tomorrow.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, writing in The Sun, assured English football fans he will do all in his power to stop the Super League from going ahead.
He said: “You only need a pulse to know that football is not a brand or a product. In fact it’s so much more than even a sport.
“Football clubs in every town and city and at every tier of the pyramid have a unique place at the heart of their communities, and are an unrivalled source of passionate local pride.
“A year of empty stadiums has reminded us all that football without fans is an altogether more anaemic spectacle.
“It is your game – and you can rest assured that I’m going to do everything I can to give this ludicrous plan a straight red.”
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YouGov poll results
A YOUGOV snap poll has revealed football fans are overwhelmingly against the proposed European Super League, see it is a huge money grab and will not watch the matches if it goes ahead…
· 79 per cent of football fans oppose the creation of European Super League, 68 per cent strongly oppose it; just 14 per cent support it
· Half of football fans (51 per cent) think ‘big six’ European Super League clubs should be kicked out of the Premier League; 55 per cent think they should face financial penalties; 32 per cent think they should face points deductions; 22 per cent think they should be stripped of existing domestic titles; only 10 per cent think there should be no punishments whatsoever
· 75 per cent say they are not interested in watching the ESL when it begins
· Just 3 per cent say the formation of ESL was driven by fans’ desire; 89 per cent say it was driven more by financial gain
· 75 per cent say clubs down the football pyramid will suffer financially from the ESL formation; only 7 per cent think they will benefit
· 73 per cent think football club owners should face punishments; 51 per cent want to see clubs themselves face punishments