On 19th April 2021 the European Super League was announced to the world. This inevitability was still a damning one in the face of football and I was delighted at it's announcement. Foolishly one way or another I believed this was the opportunity for reform and significant change for the landscape of what professional football is and what is has become. As the sports wealth grows astronomically the product at the top of the chain has become soulless and quite frankly laughable looking at the Premier League in particular. VAR, Financial Fair Play and evident corruption among the likes of FIFA are all factors that have driven the game into the dirt as times goes on. Personally my interest in the sport aside from my own club has been battered and bruised by the ongoing greed and terrible decisions made within the Premier League, EFL and FA.
Whether it went ahead of not, the European Super League gave me hope that football could change for the better, with or without 'the top 6'. The whole process highlighted how successful the 50+1 model is in Germany, where it's clubs fans retain overall control. The ownership in English football is rotten and continues to take football down a path that will not make the game any more appealing. We've seen that the game is ironically no richer as a result of more money coming in, and it'll only get worse. So when it was announced that the 'top six' were given a collective fine of £22 million for what effectively was an attempted murder on English and European football, it was clear to me that I cannot take this game seriously, until it starts acting seriously.
This was the final straw and a complete mockery but it was at the same time all too predictable. We have seen the likes of Sky Sports speak out at their disgust at this move just months after they produced a countdown to the liquidation of Bury Football Club like their 135 year history counted for nothing. Wigan were sent packing to League One following a points deduction solely based off the EFL failing to do their job of enforcing the 'fit and proper persons test'. How many more examples like this do we need until we give up? We all love football, it's the greatest sport in the world but when do we start to lose that grip that it has us in?
For the upcoming season, I will be watching my team Watford in action at Vicarage Road. Being there is something special and I know more than anyone that turning your back on your club is an impossibility for many but I can no longer spectate 'competitions' in which my club are now competing in with true purpose. I don't watch Premier League football anymore and I will continue to save my time by not watching away from Vicarage Road when there is zero integrity left.
Football fans loyalty is being exploited and it is clear that many supporters are happy to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the reality and take whatever football throws at them as long as it stills gives them a purpose as a fan. You only have to look at Chelsea fans rejoicing in winning the Champions League, a competition they actively left. It probably shows that football fans as a whole are happy to see teams run away with inevitable success if it benefits them and means getting the experience of following your club.
I want Watford competing in the Premier League to mean something, I want to feel those heightened emotions both good and bad that make being a fan what it is but I can't feel this way about football anymore.
If Jadon Sancho for example were to score a hattrick at Vicarage Road this season for Manchester United following his £73 million move, I have no reason but to take it with a pinch of salt. I would hate to suggest that fans can no longer take some enjoyment from it but it does beg the question, why are we still taking this seriously?