Ryan Eades’ viewpoint on the ESL
I spoke to an Irish Liverpool supporter in the form of Ryan Eades. He spoke about the importance of a level playing field in football and how the ESL proposals went against anything he thought that the game should’ve been about. Like many others, he dismissed the belief that football fans have won as the clubs withdrawn following a backlash as ticket prices and other situations need to improve.
‘I support Liverpool and have done so for the last 12 years. Rather reluctantly under the Hodgson and Rodgers years.’
‘I felt the ESL proposal was an insult to the fans, players and staff of all 20 premier league clubs. It was clearly a money grab that honestly has baffled any fan as to how these owners thought fans would agree to this and there would be no backlash. I completely understand why the other 14 clubs became outraged as these clubs felt they were too good to be in the presence of the other 14 which could be acceptable when you consider the top 6 do attract the most fans but this is no excuse for jeopardising the meaning of competition.’
‘I think a level playing field is more important than personal greed and success. I personally want football to be competitive. The beauty of the premier league is every club can beat everyone at any given time. I think dropping out of the English system just to gain financially was pointless as you would make people lose interest very quickly.’
‘The only positive I saw from the proposals was the financial gain for the clubs. From a business standpoint the ESL made perfect sense and was a perfect thing to do but from a morality point of view it was highly offensive to the players and supporters. I don’t think it will ever happen however if these crooks are still in charge of the 6 clubs in 10 years you can almost guarantee that they will try again but with more planning and better PR to manipulate fans into agreeing’.
‘I don’t think that the Premier League would’ve kicked them out but if the 6 teams were still in the league still and also in the ESL the league would become meaningless and stale. I think if they had kicked the 6 clubs out the premier league would severely struggle as the interest would no longer be there from sponsors and revenue would be decreased massively as a result. The 6 clubs are prime examples of supply and demand. The big companies like Cadbury pay big money to the premier league to sponsor the league and be associated with the massive clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United. Without these clubs also the fans wouldn’t show an interest in the league which would mean the massive television money from sky and BT would eventually stop coming in as there’s less eyes on the league’.
‘I felt Florentino Perez’s comments were an incredibly ignorant assumption to make and was a prime example of him just clutching at straws to fit his narrative. Being a 19 year old I am addicted to football and I know millions of 16-24 year olds worldwide also feel the same. Perez’s comments on Monday night was solely all arrogance from a man who felt he was undefeatable’.
‘I really enjoy the English pyramid. I feel the whole fairy tale of teams going from nothing to something is key to the romance in the game. For example, Bournemouth going from league 2 to the premier league in 6 seasons was something you just don’t get in other countries. These success stories would ultimately be no more if the ESL did happen as the resources of English football would take a massive hit’.
‘My initial response was anger. I was livid at the proposals. I felt it was a massive teller from the owners as to how they view the fans. If it wasn’t evident before that FSG viewed fans as consumers instead of actual fans then its set in stone now. I was upset like I presume every fan was that the sport we love so much was ultimately being snatched away to line these people’s pockets’.
‘I personally don’t think they listened to the fans. I honestly think the owners were apologetic that they got called out on their bluff. I think players like Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford speaking out really put pressure on these owners. As a football fan I want all clubs to be punished but as a Liverpool fan I hope there’s no punishment or if there is it’s a punishment imposed on these owners’.
‘I think ticket prices have to decrease. Fans have been priced out of following their teams. I think the game has to be given back to the fans and ticket prices should be capped at £30. I’d like to see more control in decisions given to the fans like in Germany with the 50+1 model. I’d like the greed to be taken out of football. I’ve no issues with the players’ wages if it’s sustainable for the club as at the end of the day these players are in demand as entertainers and are probably being paid fairly for what they generate financially even if it is ridiculous money’.