AFC Wimbledon today officially joined the nationwide backlash against a proposed European Super League – and insisted the controversial plans are “not in the wider interests of football”.
Like everyone else, The Dons have been appalled at the prospect of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City breaking away to form a new midweek European tournament.
The plans have triggered a torrent of anger and dismay from football fans across the UK – including supporters of the six 'super' clubs themselves.
Our chief executive Joe Palmer joined the protests and said: “These proposals are an affront to the fans, an affront to the game, an affront to the history of the game, and an affront to everything that we – as a club - stand for.
“If there’s one expression that’s very close to our hearts then it's ‘not in the wider interests of football’. Well, these proposals certainly fit that description.”
The worrying proposals threaten to undermine the Football League’s entire pyramid structure which allows clubs to move from the lowest divisions all the way to the top of the Premier League and then qualify for the Champions League.
“If any club is a living example of how precious that structure is, then it’s us,” Joe continued. “We produced one of the greatest stories in football by rising from the Combined Counties League to where we are now.
“But these proposals could plunge the pyramid into disarray. Stories like ours might never happen again and that would be a very, very sad day for football.
“We have the most competitive league in the world and that’s what makes English football so special. That’s why the Premier League is watched by millions of fans worldwide. We mustn’t let these proposals undermine all that’s great about our game.”
While Joe has been heartened by how forcibly fans have reacted to the plans, he also believes it is imperative all clubs unite quickly. In fact, moves are already being made behind the scenes to strengthen and galvanise the EFL so it becomes a more robust, financially strong, and influential force within the game.
“We need to get together and, instead of concentrating on our differences, concentrate on everything we have in common,” he added.
“It’s vital we take a collective approach and I urge everyone to think about that right now.”