For a brief moment earlier this week, it had seemed as if the sport of football that we all know and love was under serious threat.
Six Premier League clubs – Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur – announced their intentions to join a European Super League alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter.
This led to a huge backlash from football fans around the world, who were rightly angry at the club’s disregard for loyal supporters, with the decision to join clearly based on the huge financial incentives rather than the benefit of the team.
The various clubs involved were clearly desperate to re-establish themselves as the footballing elite, as it seems remarkable that the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal were afforded an invitation despite their domestic struggles in recent seasons, as participation was based on finances alone.
Do Man City still deserve to be punished?
Fortunately, thanks to millions of football fans voicing their concerns over the league, as well as the proposed sanctions from UEFA, the clubs were quick to withdraw, with Chelsea and Manchester City among the first to back out of the European Super League.
Thankfully, Man City chairman Sheikh Mansour saw sense and listened to the concerns of fans and players alike, with City talisman Kevin De Bruyne one of many Premier League players to post their feelings about the league on social media.
Considering that UEFA reportedly threatened to kick Manchester City out of the Premier League and Champions League as punishment for their actions, there is no doubt that Pep Guardiola is also delighted with the club’s eventual decision to withdraw, as his side have enjoyed a superb campaign and are on the cusp of glory on three fronts.
The Spaniard voiced his own concerns on the league in a press conference earlier this week, saying (via Sky Sports): “I have said many times, I want the best and strongest competition possible, especially the Premier League
“And it’s not fair if one team fights to make it to the top and then cannot qualify because success is just guaranteed for a few clubs.”
Therefore, considering that UEFA are now unlikely to punish the clubs so harshly now that they have withdrawn, Guardiola will undoubtedly be delighted that his team can get back to focusing on the rest of the season, where they will hopefully earn all the success which comes their way.
In other news… Forget Foden: “Exceptional” Man City beast ran the show at Villa Park