The proposed European Super League has captured the footballing world’s attention this week, for all the wrong reasons in the main.
Controversial plans to set up the ‘ESL’ were revealed at the beginning of the week. Within 48 hours, nine of the 12 clubs involved had bailed on the idea, with only Real Madrid, Barcelona, and AC Milan staying put for now.
Naturally, managers around the country have been fielding questions about it in their press conferences this week. Most, as expected, have spoken out against the league.
And while United manager Paul Heckingbottom insisted the integrity of the game needs to be protected, he did admit that he sympathises with certain foreign owners.
“No it’s not (how it works in England). But we also have to understand that when you’re arguing the other way,” Hecky said.
“It’s not how it works in the States for example. Where you can buy a franchise if you have enough money and get them competing in the league and competition. We have to understand that mindset as well.”
But while he did sympathise on that front, Heckingbottom insisted the outcome of games and competition is the key value in our game. And it’s one he doesn’t want to see go away.
“It’s totally different here, it’s all about the competition. Don’t forget we’ve made adjustments like introducing playoffs. And that’s because we want an outcome or value on a game. And that’s what it’s all about, there’s always something to play for. It’s all about the competition.”
Paul Heckingbottom speaks well on the European Super League
For all the top managers out there, Heckingbottom’s comments here are about as good as we have heard. And that’s without any bias.
He speaks well, looking at the issue from both sides. Of course, he disagrees with the fundamentals of a breakway league but he also takes into account that there are other sides to think about.
While he might not end up being our permanent manager and results haven’t changed, nobody can say ‘Hecky’ doesn’t come across well.