Town chief left 'flabbergasted' and 'staggered' by 'selfish idea' of European Super League

Jones finds timing of the announcement 'astonishing'

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 7:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 8:24 pm
Luton boss Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones declared he was left ‘flabbergasted’ and 'staggered' by the ‘selfish idea’ to start up a European Super League.

The Town manager was asked about his thoughts on the breakaway competition that has been condemned by a host of Premier League clubs, supporters, pundits and even politicians since it was announced on Sunday during his pre-match Reading press conference.

With both Chelsea and Manchester City now seeming to be pulling out of the breakaway league, along with Barcelona, then it now appears it could not even get off the ground in the first place.

Speaking before the news that the English teams were having second thoughts, Jones said: “I am a little bit flabbergasted by it really.

“Two things really, one the motivation behind it and two, the timing of everything.

“I would imagine that it is founded on personal interest from a few that class themselves as elite.

“By doing that, they are quite prepared to forgot history and how they have attained everything they have attained.

"Some sides are very fortunate to have been invited into that, in terms of recent form and history!

“For me, it seems a selfish idea, it seems an idea that promotes a few. They have definitely forgotten about fans, once you do that I think you are in trouble.

“I think you are in trouble morally, I think you are in trouble ethically and I think it shows where your club is that you are prepared to do that.

“To water down the Premier League which has given them an absolutely wonderful platform of finance and to play and to market their club, I find it staggering I really, really do.

“The timing, in a global pandemic when there is suffering everywhere, football clubs are going under, and then a breakaway six just want to feather their nest, I find it astonishing.

“I think that is the way the world is going.

“I think that is the way it is, ‘I want to get as much as I can, forget anyone else’, and I thought we were moving a little bit away from that in terms of some of the responses to the pandemic and how people have reacted.

“I think the way it is now, social media is all about greed, cars, money, watches, lifestyle.

“Humanity doesn’t come into it but that is the world we live in.

"Let's not forget, without fans football is nothing.

"The ironic thing is, the Super League clubs have probably come out with statements and said without fans, football is nothing and then they want to alienate fans, it just seems hypocritical.

"I’m not an expert on the matter, I have no idea and for me it is just a gut feeling."

The new model would see a serious lack of competition as 15 of the founder teams wouldn't be eligible for relegation no matter where they finished.

Jones added: "There’s a certain continent which has franchises that guarantee finance and a certain level of competition without the threat of real relegation and there’s a continent that’s driving that, maybe.

“It goes against everything that English, British football has been brought up on. The Champions League, to be fair, has gone away from the European Cup.

“I remember watching the European Cup, which was pure knockout, so you have one bad day and you’re gone.

"Now, in the Champions League, you can have one or two bad days. It’s all about getting the big clubs to the final. It’s not a knockout competition like the FA Cup.

“So, the Champions League took that away, but the format is good because it’s still a league, still includes everyone and has a real fair chance of, if you do well in your league, you’ll get there.

“All this does is just take big clubs, not necessarily the best clubs, puts them all in a pot and says, ‘you go and divvy out a load of money and have a few games while you’re doing it.

“Eventually, they’re taking about taking it all over the world, which just alienates fans.

"So, eventually, their own fans won’t get to see them, this is how I understand it to be.

"They won’t get to see them play in their own country, or even their own continent.

“So, it just alienates everything that football has been brought up on.

"And let’s remember, it’s a working class game. We invented it as a working class game.

“People keep saying, ‘without fans it’s nothing’. Well, with an alleged Super League, who knows what might happen."

When the question was raised that the proposals had the element of a travelling circus attached to it, Jones added: "Maybe they should have Hugh Jackman running it!”