I’m disappointed and disgusted – Murphy

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April 22, 2021
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    Match of the Day 2 analysis

    As a boy, I watched Liverpool winning the league title and European Cup and dreamed of doing the same myself.

    When I became a Liverpool player, I wanted to win the things those teams had done, to show I was as good as they were.

    That history, that tradition – all of those things that have grown since Liverpool Football Club formed in 1892 – would disappear if they joined this proposed breakaway European Super League and were banned from the Premier League.

    Everything that makes Liverpool the institution it is would be lost. If they leave domestic competition for this, what happens to the decades-long rivalry with Manchester United over who has won the most titles?

    Do the things that mattered when I put on that red shirt suddenly not matter any more? Where do they go?

    Dion Dublin & Danny Murphy discuss the plans for a European Super League

    'From a players' point of view, I don't see the appeal'

    I am retired now, but it will be the same for current Liverpool players, and all those at the other English clubs involved – United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham.

    They have been dreaming of winning the titles and trophies they grew up with, that they are competing for right now, because they mean so much.

    They won't wake up tomorrow and think 'well all I want to do is win a stagnated European Super League'.

    The plans, which were officially announced on Sunday night, sound soulless.

    It is beyond belief, actually, that they can think they can put this idea forward with the thought it will just be brought in smoothly and have everyone accept it.

    That is just a complete lack of understanding about our game, our traditions, what we love about football and what is in our hearts when we watch it and play the game.

    We've already seen strong opposition from leagues and federations who would be affected, and fans as well. Next, I think we will see a backlash from managers and players too.

    When I look at the proposals, and also the consequences if you are part of them, then from a players' point of view, I just don't see the appeal at all.

    Part of the joy of being a player is the rewards you get for your success on the pitch – you earn it, individually and collectively. This way, you don't get any of that. You would just get a closed shop every season, playing the same clubs every time.

    It sounds sterile and boring. Players don't want that, they want to be tested. If there are no incentives, there will be no intensity. What is left for you to play for?

    You're also being told you can no longer play for your country if you are part of this. Again, that's what you dream of doing as a kid, so I just don't see many footballers agreeing to that, which actually gives me hope that this whole idea will quickly fall apart.

    A European Super League: The future of football?

    'The more I think about it, the more nonsensical it gets'

    When news of the breakaway plans came through on Sunday, my reaction was the same as I'd expect from most people who love football – disappointment and disgust at the greed that is behind the idea.

    The intention here has nothing to do with the love of football or progressing the game, it is just about money.

    By signing up for this, you are changing everything. If the big six go down this road and leave the Premier League, it dismantles the whole pyramid which makes English football brilliant, and has been the bedrock of our game for generations.

    That's what has shocked me. Not the idea itself, because it has been talked about for years, but that there are actually people within the hierarchies at the big clubs who aren't intelligent enough to understand how damaging this could be.

    I'm open-minded enough to look at any ideas for football's future and consider the pros and cons of any changes, but I simply don't see any positives here.

    As well as being guaranteed involvement every season, the clubs involved must think they will be able to sell the broadcast rights for these big games and get more money than they do now out of the Champions League and domestic competitions.

    But I think they are naive, because I don't think there is an appetite to see the same fixtures every season, whoever is involved.

    Some of the clubs involved who have got owners from the United States might like that model, which works in sports over there. That doesn't matter, though, because it doesn't work for English football.

    Fans don't want to see that, they want excitement. They want to see their team respond to disappointment, and fight to reach the next level, and get the rewards that follow that success.

    So to make it a closed shop, with no ins and outs unless the member clubs decide it, goes against the whole nature of football. It's not beneficial, and it's not sustainable.

    If these plans go through, they will have huge repercussions for football in this country and beyond, but my hope is that they are dealt with properly, and in unison, by everyone who does have the game's best interests at heart.

    I just hope this is not allowed to escalate, because the more I think about it, the more nonsensical it gets.

    Danny Murphy was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.


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