donderdag, mei 23

Manchester United Supporters’ Trust en Spirit of Shankly samen tegen de Super League

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Zondagmiddag staat dé wedstrijd van Engeland op het programma. Geen sjeik, oligarch of durfkapitalist kan er iets aan veranderen dat Manchester United en Liverpool de grootste clubs van het land zijn. Er is genoeg te betwisten. De Red Devils hebben de wind mee – anderhalf been in de Europa League-finale en tweede in de Premier League. De Reds, aan de andere kant, hebben recent grote successen geboekt. 

Op een belangrijk punt slaat de aanhang de handen ineen – de Europese Super League wekte de woede van de trouwe aanhang van zowel de Stretford End als The Kop. De Witte Duivel kent supporters van beide clubs die voor het grotere goed verzoenen. Hier drukken we statements af van beide supportersverenigingen. De Witte Duivel zegt neen tegen de Super League.

MUST statement on European Super League and ownership

We did it!

What a 48 hours that was….

Well, first things first, we did it. We’ve stopped the breakaway. The Super League is dead. And based on the overwhelming reaction from fans, the media, pundits, players and managers, it’s hard to imagine anyone being stupid enough to bring such an idea back again.

And what killed it? We did. No, we don’t mean MUST alone although we played our part. We mean we the fans. The reaction from supporters across football, whether from other clubs who were destined for this competition, or from fans whose teams were nothing to do with it, the reaction was so united and so overwhelming that no-one could ignore us. Politicians wouldn’t have intervened without the backlash from fans. Players and managers would not have found it as easy to speak without the backlash from fans. Broadcasters and sponsors speaking out did so with more ease because of the passion shown by fans.

That said, we at MUST can be very proud of the part we ourselves have played. In the last 48 hours we’ve been in meetings with both Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer, and made the case for why they needed to get involved. We’ve done countless media interviews. And we’ve been working with other fans groups to issue statements and plan protests for the future. Some of these won’t see the light of day now, but we can be proud of the work we put in.

So what next?

The main thing is, we need to make this a turning point – both for United and for football as a whole. We have shown the power fans have, and we have to build on the amazing energy and momentum the short but noisy campaign against the Super League has had.

The government has announced that despite the collapse of the Super League plans, they are going to go ahead with the fan-led review of football they announced yesterday. This is important. We have spent over fifteen years saying the law needs to be changed to give supporters more power over their football clubs, and now we have a government review looking at just that. Engaging in this review process is going to be a top priority for MUST in the coming few months. We simply cannot rest on our laurels, pat ourselves on the back and wait for another similar plan to emerge down the line.

Turning to our club, all of us were shocked and appalled – but not surprised – that it appears we were very much amongst the ring-leaders of this insidious endeavour. For sixteen years now, we have been talking about the negative consequences of our debt-ridden ownership structure and the owners who inflicted it upon us. In many ways, the vile Super League plan was the crystalisation of everything we have been opposing and fighting against.

This must be a turning point for football, and it must be a turning point for United too. Ed Woodward is now leaving the club, but our beef was never with Ed personally. It is not about any one Club employee personally. Many of them are good people placed in a really difficult position. No, the problems at Manchester United are at ownership level. With Ed going, and their Super League dream in tatters, maybe the Glazers ought to consider if now is their moment to leave the pitch too.

But we don’t want them selling off to the highest bidder and fans to just be stood on the sidelines waiting to find out who takes over. This is a real opportunity for the Glazers to now change the current path of their legacy and open the door to supporter shareholding with full voting rights. That can be put in place now to allow supporters time to start building a stake.

A last comment on protests as there are numerous suggestions circulating on social media although generally anonymously. We have our strategy for how we believe we can best progress our objectives but we respect others may take a different view on tactics from time to time and naturally some fans will want to protest against the Glazers ownership which we all wish to see change. While we are not organising any such protest we do fully support the right of our fans to express their views in any protest conducted in a lawful and safe way.

Thanks to each and every MUST member and volunteer who has helped out in the last few days. It’s been quite a whirlwind. Now we have shown what fan power can do we must build on this success. And with your ongoing support, we will.

If you are not already a member please join us today

Spirit of Shankly: European Super League: a statement

Liverpool Football Club’s confirmation, made at 11.30pm on 18th April 2021, that they “have joined Europe’s leading clubs in agreeing to form a new competition, the European Super League” is both shocking and shameless.

Spirit of Shankly were formed when the result of broken promises by the club’s previous owners threatened LFC’s existence. This proposal threatens to destroy everything on which our club was built.

And the reason? Greed, pure and simple.

The Champions League, as was its predecessor the European Cup, is the pinnacle for LFC, for the players, for the manager and for us the supporters. Liverpool’s success in this competition is because of the work the team put in the season before to qualify. It is a special competition and made so because you have to compete to book a place.

LFC’s standing and support around the world is because of our storied ventures in this competition.

No more anticipation of who LFC will be drawn against. A breakaway Super League will not only stamp on football’s competitive ideals, but will take with it LFC’s history and stature, tainting our name, for what? The pursuit of money.

Anfield on a European night is special because it’s competitive, because winning or losing can mean there will be more, or it’s the last for a season. It’s special because of the supporters.

What is the point in continuing with this season? The breakaway’s chosen clubs don’t need to push to qualify for an elite competition. They’re straight through to a closed shop, a private members club for the rich

There will be no further supporter engagement or consultation. The flags and banners used to market LFC to new support are being removed from the Kop, and we will call a virtual public meeting to discuss next steps.

To the players, staff and our manager, we are not withdrawing support from you.

As current custodians of our club, Fenway Sports Group have talked so often of the importance of fans, only to disregard them to fill the coffers. The CEO, Billy Hogan, recently admitted how important the support is in the ground, and he was impatient for us to return. Shame on you.


Spirit of Shankly
Spion Kop 1906
The LFC fans forum
Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association
Kop Outs
LFC Official Supporters Club

Liverpool FC: eindelijk kampioen! | Jan Willem Spaans


About Author

Raf Willems (1960) noemt zichzelf voetbalschrijver met een boekenkast. Hij is uitgever en auteur van meer dan 40 boeken over ‘voetbal met een knipoog naar geschiedenis & samenleving’ en schreef voor het Nederlandse weekblad Voetbal International (1995-2000), de krant NRC Handelsblad (2001-2006) en de website Stichting meer dan Voetbal (2008-20014). Sinds 2014 Initiatiefnemer van voetbaldenktank & onlineplatform De Witte Duivel.

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