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Fans vs Football: who owns the game?


About this ThinkIn

As the pandemic-delayed Euro 2020 tournament finally gets going, what state is football in – and who now holds the power? Some of Europe’s biggest clubs tried to stage a coup during lockdown and were shamed into dropping their plans for an elite European Super League which seemed great for them and terrible for everyone else. Within 48 hours the whole thing disintegrated, the big clubs were fined and agreed to make a £13m+ ‘goodwill contribution’ to fund grassroots football initiatives across the continent. But is this all just too little too late? Have the owners of giants like Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United been thwarted for good? Is UEFA back in charge? Or have the ‘legacy fans’ who stood up for tradition finally realised their power to take back the game? And an uncomfortable question: is it just a bit hypocritical that fans who embraced the big-money Premier League two decades ago should now object to what many had predicted was an inevitable next step? Can the soul of football be revived or is it lost forever?

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editor and invited experts

Dave Taylor
Editor and Reporter

Sanjay Bhandari
Chair, Kick It Out

Mark Oliver
Chairman & Co-Founder, Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates

Chris Paouros
Vice Chair and Trustee, Kick It Out; Board member Football Supporters Association; Co-founder and Co-Chair Proud Lilywhites

Tim Payton
Spokesperson, Arsenal Supporters’ Trust