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‘All about greed and selfishness’ – Bolton Wanderers boss blasts European Super League plans

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Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt has blasted the plans for a European Super League and hopes that a stance is made against the proposals by all in the game.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have agreed to join the project, which will be governed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Outside of the UK, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus have also agreed to take part in the midweek competition, which would see 20 clubs including 15 founder members playing one another.

The blueprints envisage the competition commencing ‘as soon as practicable’ and teams would continue to compete in their national leagues.

A statement last night read: “ Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.

“The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model.

“Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.

“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.

“In recent months extensive dialogue has taken place with football stakeholders regarding the future format of European competitions.

“The Founding Clubs believe the solutions proposed following these talks do not solve fundamental issues, including the need to provide higher-quality matches and additional financial resources for the overall football pyramid.”

However, the plans have drawn widespread criticism from across the football world by pundits and football bodies not involved in it.

The Premier League has condemned the proposals and UEFA also oppose them.

Wanderers boss Evatt has had his say on the matter and blasted the ownership of the clubs involved in the proposals as money being the only motivating factor behind the proposals.

He said: “It just doesn’t surprise me anymore. These big clubs and the owners of these big clubs – Gary Neville said it yesterday and I completely agree, it’s been my view for a significant period of time – that they have no understanding of the roots and the foundations of this football and of English football, British football, European football and the history of it.

“The fans are everything. It’s all about greed and selfishness, that’s all they’re interested in, money. This game is a working class game which fans for over a century have built, enjoyed watching, been the heartbeat of every community and all they’re doing is trying to rip the soul and heart out of it for financial benefit and it’s fundamentally wrong and we have to stamp it out.

“People in the game like myself, yourself, supporters, government, we can all now make a stance and stamp this nonsense out right now and it needs to be done and they need to understand that they’re not going to take our game away from us and they’re not going to take football out of communities and take it out of the hands of fans, it shouldn’t be that way.

“It’s not all about money. Yes, it’s a business and I understand that but you can’t tell me that they’re not earning enough money from the game right now.

“It’s just greed, it’s not for the benefit of anyone else apart from themselves, simple as that.”

Evatt hopes the plans do not come to fruition and concedes that improvements could be made to the game – but the Super League concept is not it.

He added: “I’m hoping that what I’ve just said happens and everybody makes a stance against it, everybody comes together and they keep this game the way it is.

“Yes, we know we can adapt, we can develop and we can improve things, but there has to be a pyramid. You have to have competition, you have to have relegations, promotions, and try to achieve something.

“Just because you call yourself a big club doesn’t give you a right to stay in a division all of your life and earn billions of pounds just because you’ve got a big fanbase.

“It’s absolute nonsense. It makes a mockery of the game and what the game’s all about.”

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