'I'd rather watch Whitehawk vs Burgess Hill' - Brighton fans make European Super League feelings crystal clear
Six English clubs have signed up to join a controversial breakaway European Super League but what does it mean for Brighton and what do their fans think?
In total, 12 clubs have so far agreed to join as founding members of the tournament, with three more expected to also sign up, which will eventually feature 20 teams as an annual midweek competition set to rival the Champions League.
Brighton will continue their fight to stay in the Premier League this Tuesday as they travel to Chelsea - one of the teams signed up for the ESL.
Here's how Brighton fans reacted on social media:
@GullLondon: On behalf of Brighton i'd like to thank you for our invite to the EuroSuper Greedy xG League of Fat Bloaters..... but you can shove it up your jacksee. Id rather watch Whitehawk v Burgess Hill thank you. #bhafc
@wearebrighton: People laughed when Tony Bloom said he wanted Brighton to become a top 10 Premier League team Who's laughing now? #BHAFC
@Joebenno Just realised we get the chance to play against The Moscow Blue Lions Franchise tomorrow evening, what an exciting prospect. #bhafc #SuperLeague
@LEEBHAFC @premierleague @FA We play Chelsea tomorrow night. As they have agreed to join another league, it ruins the integrity of the game. Therefore I believe we should be awarded the 3 points #bhafc
@BhafcR No to the "big six", and this proposal. just glad i have a club with an owner who's a fan. #bhafc I genuinely feel for the fans of the "Big Six" clubs who don't want any part of this. To those who think it's a good idea...take a look at yourself
@BHAFC_LIFE: Honestly good riddance to them, never believed in the “top 6” anyway be a better league without them! #BHAFC #europeansuperleague
The English six
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have put their names to the competition, to widespread condemnation from across the English game, from former players and from politicians.
Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer will also be vice-chairman of the Super League, which the founding members would be guaranteed qualification for. That in particular will jar with many with United having qualified for the Champions League in just two of the last five seasons, while Arsenal have not finished in the top four since 2015-16 and Tottenham have never won the Premier League. These English clubs would now be guaranteed a seat among the elite.
No elite European competition would be complete without LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the pair front and centre among the names signing up on Sunday evening. Real are the most decorated team in European history, winning 13 European Cups – six more than the next team on the list AC Milan.
Current Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will chair the Super League. Barcelona, 26-time LaLiga winners and five-time European champions are set to compete, with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid the third Spanish team to sign up.
Italy’s fallen giants?
The European Club Association released a statement opposing the Super League after a meeting on Sunday night, reportedly without their chair Andrea Agnelli as he is also chairman of founding member Juventus.
The Turin club, Italy’s dominant side, will take part alongside AC Milan and Inter Milan – who prior to this season have not won a Serie A title between them since 2011. That means there are currently no spots for the likes of Napoli, Roma and Atalanta who have all regularly finished above the Milan rivals in recent seasons.
No Bayern or PSG
The recent Champions League quarter-final tie between Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich was a thrilling contest among two of Europe’s biggest teams – who contested last season’s Champions League final.
Both clubs, who boast some of the world’s biggest stars from Kylian Mbappe and Neymar to Robert Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman, were conspicuous by their absence from the Super League announcement.
Six-time European champions Bayern have said they are opposed to the concept, alongside Borussia Dortmund whose chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke has said his club are focused on Champions League reform, not a Super League.
European Cup winners excluded
While there are spots for clubs such as Arsenal, Tottenham and Atletico who have never won the European Cup, former champions such as Ajax – four-time winners – Porto, Benfica and Celtic have been left on the sidelines as things stand.