Commenting on the announcement that 6 Premier League clubs are to join a new European Super League, Lib Dem councillors have hit out at the impact such a decision could have on the future prospects of grassroots football and local football teams such as York City FC.
Councillor Darryl Smalley, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities, commented:
“Fans of any club in England and across Europe can currently dream that their team may climb to the top and play against the best. The concept of a European Super League would destroy this dream, ripping the heart out of the English game, dealing clubs up and down the country another blow after an awful year.
“The integrity of the football pyramid is at the very heart of the sport. It is this system that created some of York City’s greatest moments, beating Arsenal at home, twice holding Liverpool to a draw and beating Man United 3-0 at Old Trafford. Smaller clubs such as York City FC rely both on the dream of climbing the ladder of English football as well as on the financial support that comes from the Premier League structure.
“With the potential for a drastic reduction in the Premier League’s broadcast income, the money that filters down to local clubs, grassroots football, community facilities, sports participation programmes and schools would take a significant hit.
“While much more of Premier League’s income should be distributed down throughout the rest of the game, it remains true that the Premier League distributes a larger proportion – and therefore a significantly larger amount – of its wealth down through the pyramid than any other league. A reduction in total income is likely to lead directly to a brutal financial impact elsewhere in the game.
“The Premier League is one of this country’s greatest exports. The Government must step in to prevent a small number of rich owners ruining the game we all love.”