GREED MONEY AND POWER: HAVE FOOTBALL CLUB OWNERS DESTROYED FAN TRUST FOR GOOD?
Updated: Apr 28
When I first went to secondary school as a naïve 11 year old boy, I had an assembly that I remember to this day.
The head of year got a mug out and a hammer. He asked a boy to come up and smash it to bits. Easy! He then asked another boy to come up and put it together. That was a harder task. The enthusiastic teacher was making a metaphor. The mug was our reputation. Easily broken, hard to rebuild.
This has stuck with me, as, on the whole, its quite true. Once you've broken someone’s trust it is hard to let them trust you again.
The self claimed ‘big six’ may learn this the hard way.
I won’t go into the tit for tat of which owners are the worst. But all of the owners of the English clubs involved in the short lived European Super League are guilty of unfettered greed, all have been caught on their heels and all have made terrible attempts at apologies.
But there will be consequences. I don’t know what the FA or the EPL will do but fans won’t forget so easily.
As a whole football fans in England have been ostracized from their clubs in favour of international markets. While the response has been rather muted, other than the last decade, there has been a rise in supporter activism. Some of this has been more fruitful than others, but there has been a bubbling of unrest, throughout the football pyramid.
The announcement of the European Super League may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, or the hammer that smashed the mug. It may be the thing that shows the obvious financial inequalities in the game and unites fans against the growing billionaire class of owners.
Joel Glazer said he was ‘committed to rebuilding trust with [United] fans.’ Even if this wasn’t an obvious lie, he may realise it is harder to rebuild that trust than it took to destroy it.