Former Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman has said he is “still in shock” at the proposals to form a European Super League and called for its organisers to listen to the “big guys in football”.
The “Big Six” Premier League clubs have faced a furious backlash after the unveiling of proposals for a breakaway tournament.
“When you take the top six out of the Premier League it takes all of the passion out of it because when you look at the Premier League it has been brilliant for a long time and doesn’t really need changing,” Seaman told Sky News.
“It’s just something I don’t like, I don’t like the sound of and I really don’t want to happen.”
There has been widespread anger at the failure of any of the wealthy overseas owners of the clubs involved to come forward to justify the plan, with accusations that it was being driven by greed.
Seaman said: “These guys are very good business guys. I’m sure they are just dipping their toe in the water to see what kind of reaction they got. I’m sure it’s 100 times worse than what they ever thought of.”
He said the organisers should listen to the “big guys in football” such as Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger who have spoken out against the plans.
AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined the Super League as founding clubs, securing vast financial rewards for themselves at a time when takings have been hit by coronavirus restrictions.
The proposal has been roundly condemned by both the FA and the Premier League while UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has warned players who take part could be banned from representing their countries in the World Cup and Euros.
Seaman said: “I think what will happen is that the teams that are in the ESL will prioritise that and then start putting out understrength teams to play in the Premier League because they’ll think that’s a more important competition.
“I can’t see any other advantage of it. It is all about the money.”
But he said players’ hands are tied as they have to go with what the owners say.
Florentino Perez, the chairman of the new European Super League and also Real Madrid chairman, defended the tournament, saying those involved are doing it to save football.
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