Unprecedented. Volatile. Strange.
Just three words to describe one of the most incredible weeks football has ever seen.
When, on Sunday night the 12 official club accounts tweeted to declare they were joining a European Super League, it was staggering news. But the way the football industry stood up to the biggest bullies in the playground – and won – was the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters. It took just 48 hours to crush some of the biggest clubs on the planet.
The romantics will say the fans won the day. Fan protests outside grounds, supporter group statements, non-stop negative press coverage and social media outrage clearly made a huge, huge difference. The clubs have recognised that fact and referenced it heavily in their grovelling apologies. Who knew that it was possible to grow a conscience in 48 hours? It showed how quickly football can move when it acts to protect its survival. It was fighting for its life.
Support The Big Issue and our vendors by signing up for a subscription
The cynics, meanwhile, will point to the roles played by the lawyers and senior leaders across FIFA, UEFA, the leagues and national associations. Their aggressive threats to pretty much erase the 12 clubs proposing to break away – and their players – from any form of competition beyond their proposed Euro Billions bonanza showed absolutely no mercy.