SAM MORRIS’ VIEW ON THE ESL.
I spoke to an Irish Liverpool supporter, who also has a great interest in Tranmere Rovers, in Sam Morris. He believes that the game, in general, is great as dreams are captured throughout being awarded and punished through promotions and relegations etc and that Florentino Perez has no understanding of how young football fans view the sport. We also spoke about other subjects, including how Sam would like to see the game change for the better.
‘I support Liverpool, I always have done’.
‘When I heard the news about the ESL, my reaction was no different to anyone else. I was shocked and embarrassed that the owners of my beloved football club would go without consulting the fans or members of the club and put our club into a breakaway league. When I saw the details of this Super League and how it would guarantee european football every season without the competitive nature of the sport made me think that this decision was made solely because of money’.
‘I felt sorry for the other 14 clubs in the league because it’s completely unfair to them. The ESL would apparently have taken the place of the Champions League and the whole underdog story. As of this season we have seen teams like Leicester and West Ham be in with a chance of getting Champions League football based on merit and their performances over the season and the ESL discredits those teams efforts over the course of the season because one of the traditional top 6 would miss out. I also know the impact it would have on the teams in the EFL because I have been to a lot of Tranmere Rovers games and there is a world of difference between clubs further down the leagues and clubs in the Premier League and it’s refreshing to see. The ESL would destroy the football pyramid and essentially divide the rich from the poorer teams’.
‘Every football fan wants their club to be successful. For me as a fan I value success but I would rather achieve that success without adjusting the already values of the game. So you can take Liverpool as an example, we achieved our success differently to clubs like Chelsea and Man City. They in ways bought their success overtime because before their takeovers they had history but very little success and their struggles with FFP. Even lower down the leagues, clubs like Salford and Forest Green barely had any success until they had massive injections of money. So I do value core values and would rather not have the already values of the sport adjusted just so my club can be successful’.
‘I never liked the idea of a non competitive league and the fact you would play the same teams every year. For me the ESL ruins the magic of the Champions League. One of my biggest dreams is to go to watch Liverpool in the Champions League under the lights at Anfield. That is an experience in itself nevermind the game. Famous nights like the 4-0 vs Madrid, the Man City game and the Barcelona game come to mind, just to experience that once in my life would be a dream come true. The Super League would destroy that dream and the memories attached to the Champions League by playing pointless games against the huge european giants. The beauty about the Champions League is, the rare occasions you face teams like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich make it even more special on european nights and the Super League would just kill them games. Another reason is it kills the underdog story. You wouldn’t get great unexpected runs from teams like AS Monaco, Ajax and even Leicester a few years ago and major upsets like when Red Star Belgrade beat Liverpool. It also ruins the dreams of the smaller teams who have made long journeys through the qualifying rounds to play one of Europe’s elite clubs. Personally, I can’t see it ever working and I don’t see any positives apart from the financial aspect but I believe that The Super League idea isn’t dead in the water just yet. I reckon it will be brought back up in a few years again with revised plans and they will try to force it through’.
‘No, I couldn’t see the Premier League kicking them out of the league. Lets not forget that without the “Sly Six” the popularity of the league and financially would be a lot less. Those 6 clubs are the money makers when it comes to revenue, brand deals etc, so wherever those 6 go the attention and money goes with them. If they did relegate them, you would see the likes of Sky and BT lose a lot of money and would have minimal interest in the remaining 14 teams and the 6 newly promoted sides. I think if they kicked them out and the Super League went ahead, you would see the destruction of the Premier League. The big 6 have the most power when it comes to English Football and whatever they do has a ripple effect on the football pyramid’.
‘I wouldn’t believe a word that Perez says. I don’t think he even knows what he is saying half the time. His statement about young people not interested in football anymore was mad. He has definitely never seen football twitter before. I think the main reason people would fall out of love for the game is because of VAR. From ages 16-24 you start to develop your own opinions about players and the game itself so I don’t think he even thought about what he said at all. I still engage in arguments with my mates about football all the time even if we support the same team. He started the league to save his name and try to get Real Madrid out of serious debt. He is a clown, he’s a businessman who knows nothing about today’s game’.
‘I like the way the English game is. I love the Fa cup. I wish Liverpool took the domestic cups more seriously. You can’t beat the unpredictability of the cups and the leagues. I feel like the top 6 sides shouldn’t be involved in the league cup. The league cup gets won by Man City every year and not many teams take it seriously. They should consider changing the league cup into an all Island Cup to add more excitement. So scottish league teams would be added to the cup and it would include the 14 remaining Premier League sides, Championship, League 1&2 and Scottish League teams. Keep the same format’.
‘I didn’t like the format of the Super League at all. It’s very similar to how the MLS is run. They have theirs split into western and eastern for travel reasons and they have a semi final and final. It’s very weird. The owners of these clubs and the main ones backing Perez are American so they would be used to this type of format because that’s how most sports are played over there. It would never work in Europe, hence why there was massive outrage as well. The no relegation gave the Super League a massive disadvantage as the league then became non competitive. The Super League had more cons than pros and that’s why it failed’.
‘The owners should 100% be punished with some hefty fines. I don’t think for one minute that the owners thought of the fans while making the decision to pull out. They were offered big money from UEFA to back out and the threats that they would be banned from all competitions. The owners showed their true colours with that decision and ultimately burned bridges with fans and staff of the club. I’m expecting big punishments from the Premier League and UEFA for these owners. I reckon there will be a points deduction at the start of next season and a possible ban from European competitions for a season’.
‘I don’t believe that the fans have won to be quite honest. UEFA and Sky Sports and all the big TV companies are tricking the working class people into thinking that we were the ones who stopped the Super League. What are we benefiting from the end of the Super League? Nothing has changed for the fans. Sky and BT subscriptions are still too high, ticket prices haven’t gone down, the price of club jerseys are a joke. Further action against these things have to be taken if we ever want to “win” but unfortunately I cannot see anything changing. The 2019 Champions League final was held in a 64,000 seater stadium. Liverpool and Spurs were given 16,613 tickets each and all the other tickets were corporate. If that doesn’t say something about how little UEFA care about the fans then I don’t know what does.
The biggest issue right now is racism. Everyone would like to see that kicked out of the sport and the only way to do that is by handing out long punishments and big fines. UEFA and the FA will have to almost scaremonger people so they know it’s a serious offence. The other issue I would like to see ironed out is VAR. Personally I am not a big fan. They have to change the rules around VAR because the small offsides they give are a joke. They have to change the rules around offsides with VAR, we are seeing perfectly good goals chalked off because of referees opinions. That and the referees in English football especially in the Premier League are appalling. There’s a reason not many of them go to world cups and Euros’.