Chelsea fan Baddiel welcomes Super League pullout

Speaking on Newsnight, the comedian and writer welcomed the impending collapse of controversial scheme


Chelsea football fan David Baddiel welcomed the club’s withdrawal from the controversial European Super League as the scheme veered towards collapse last night. 

Speaking on BBC2’s Newsnight as news began to filter that all six English clubs associated with the plan were pulling out, he said he was “pleased as a football fan because it was literally the worst idea, possibly in the history of anything, but certainly in the history of the football.” 

The comedian and writer, who co-authored the English football anthem Three Lions, said the protests which forced the retreat had been “a triumph of real people… of real players, real managers and real fans over the abstract idea of corporate brands”. 

It had widely been believed that the instigators of the elite league plan had been hoping to cash in on global following of the leading European clubs. 

The EFL would have offered a closed circle where the participating teams would not have faced relegation. 

But Mr Baddiel observed that the fact that smaller clubs have won competitions was important for the game. “That dream, that notion of actual competition, David versus Goliath competition, that can prevent it just being a corporate behemoth is absolutely crucial for it remaining a sport and not just a circus,” he said. 

David Bernstein, former chairman of the Football Association and of Manchester City – which also quit the EFL last night – told Newsnight that the whole episode had been “an embarrassment”. 

A co-author of a manifesto produced last year, Saving the Beautiful Game, he wants an overhaul of football regulation and governance in this country. 


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