David Bernstein, the former chief executive of the Football Association and European Super League founder Manchester City, has delivering a withering assessment of his old club’s involvement in the plans that have rocked football.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Bernstein said he felt ashamed at being a City supporter and compared his own feelings to those of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher at how they responded to their teams, Manchester United and Liverpool, signing up to the plans.
He also said that major clubs, especially those with the history of United and Liverpool, have a responsibility to behave appropriately for the good of the sport.
David Bernstein has blasted his club Manchester City for their Super League involvement
City have been confirmed as one of the 12 founder clubs of the immensely controversial plan
‘I’m ashamed. I’ve supported Manchester City all my life. It’s a club I love. But I’m really ashamed, as I know Gary Neville has said he is about his old club Manchester United, and I think Jamie Carragher and Liverpool,’ Bernstein said.
‘I’m ashamed as clubs with that history should have great responsibility to the rest of the game.’
Bernstein said that the main form of hope against the proposals is that without promotion and relegation, the backbone of the thrills and spills of league football will be removed and in turn, it’ll erase the bulk of the interest in matches.
‘It’s a lifeline that I think’s only going to end, if it happens at all, very badly,’ he said.
‘Because a closed league, as they’re proposing, without promotion and relegation, without recognition of the rest of the game, is potentially a dead league. It won’t have the life of football as we understand it. I think the arrogance of these half a dozen English clubs is something to behold.
‘I think there are two things in play here: one is greed and the other is desperation.
‘And it’s because some of these clubs have incurred enormous debt. I believe certainly Barcelona and Real Madrid, and I think at least one of the English clubs, are approaching £1bn of debt.
Former City player Micah Richards said that the Super Plans are ‘an absolute disgrace’
‘I think they’re in a desperate situation. One of the things they haven’t done during the pandemic is to impose some sort of wages control. They’ve got themselves into a bit of a predicament.’
Micah Richards, a former City player and now a pundit for Sportsmail and Sky Sports, told Sky on Sunday: ‘The Premier League has been run amazingly, we all know clubs are an investment, it’s a business at the end of the day, but what happens to the fans?
‘What happens to the memories of what the fans have had over the years? They’re just forgotten about for the sake of money, and that’s the way football has become now. I think it’s an absolute disgrace.’