VIEW FROM SPAIN: Breakaway clubs accused of hypocrisy and betrayal

VIEW FROM SPAIN: Breakaway clubs Real and Atletico Madrid are accused of hypocrisy and betrayal over Super League plans… but Barcelona fans are split over the promise of untold riches as they look to recover from crippling financial crisis 

  • The Spanish press condemend the proposals of a European Super League 
  • Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have agreed to join the competition
  • There has been a mixed response from the fans in the Barca and Real camps  
  • Many believe Atletico have joined the others so they are not left behind 

Spain’s biggest sports daily Marca took a stand against the European Super League with its Monday columnist Roberto Palomar calling it the: ‘Clubs on high crapping on those down below’.

He said the scheme carried the ‘stench of the worst sort of capitalism’ and scorned the hypocrisy of some of those involved and their constant claims to be ‘people’s clubs’.

‘Why would anyone bother to invest in a youth system if it was just to feed the super elite while being exiled in an eternal second tier?’ Palomar asked.

Barcelona fans are split on the club’s decision to form a European Super League with 11 others

LaLiga champions Real Madrid have been criticised by the press in the Spanish capital 

Spain’s biggest sports daily Marca took a stand against the European Super League

In a follow-up editorial online Marca said: ‘Modifying the current formats so abruptly and without consensus suggests an important destabilization of the system on which the sport has been based. 

‘The impact on the national leagues, and on the championships of countries without teams in this new Super League could be devastating. Although the “separatist” clubs insist that their purpose is to also stay in domestic tournaments, it is difficult to think that this revolution will not affect these leagues, with untold damage to the clubs and fans of the vast majority of teams.’

It concluded, alluding to the success of the current format adding: ‘Ignoring the sensible principle of “if it works don’t’ fix it”, we are facing an ordeal will need urgent but measured responses. This advance from the “rebel” teams has to be countered through negotiation and compromise. The future is at stake.’

There is a sense Atletico Madrid have agreed to join the others so they are not left behind

Not all response coming out of Madrid was critical though. Media close to Florentino Perez appeared to back the plan. Late night football show El Chiringuito mocked Spanish League president Javier Tebas’ threat to throw out the breakaway clubs, tweeting: ‘How will you sell La Liga then?’.

The programme also made a direct request for Perez to appear on its show on Monday night and further explain the Super League.

In Barcelona there was also a major split in the way supporters responded. Many fans have swallowed whole the promise of untold riches in the new format and see that as a best way out of the club’s current financial strife.

The club’s Catalan separatist element would also see no reason to shed any tears over leaving the Spanish Liga.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has threatened to throw out the breakaway clubs

But one fan tweeted a picture of Johan Cruyff under the caption ‘You have betrayed him’, others asked: what about ‘More than a club’ referring to the institution’s famous slogan. And there were lots questioning whether ‘joining’ another league was something the president Joan Laporta could do without the go-ahead from the club’s 150,000 plus membership.

There was a sense that Atletico Madrid have tagged along with the big two so as not to be left behind. They, like Barclona and Real Madrid, have bit hit hard by the pandemic’s effect on football tourism.

It now remains to be seen how clubs such as Valencia, Sevilla, Betis and the Basque clubs Athetlic Bilbao and Real Sociedad respond. For the moment they seemed to be ignoring the existence of something which could ruin them if it comes to fruition.




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