Brighton boss Graham Potter admits European Super League fiasco was ‘disturbing and sad’… while Adam Lallana praises former Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson for leading players’ revolt against competition
- Brighton boss Graham Potter believes football was ‘attacked’ in the last 48 hours
- Potter has called on supporters to ‘remain vigilant’ against opportunistic owners
- Seagulls star Adam Lallana believes collective action has won amid the collapse of the much derided and controversial European Super League
Graham Potter admits the creation of the controversial European Super League left him feeling like football had been ‘attacked’, but praised supporters for their backlash that led to the competition’s collapse.
The football world was rocked on Sunday when 12 clubs looking including a Premier League six of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur announced shock plans to breakaway and form a new tournament.
But after a furious reaction from fans, players and managers in the following two days, the six clubs were soon forced into embarrassing climbdowns triggering the Super League’s demise.
Graham Potter admits the European Super League creation left him feeling ‘disturbed and sad’
Speaking after his Brighton side picked up an impressive goalless draw at Chelsea on Tuesday night, Potter admitted his team had a point to prove regarding providing competition ahead of the Stamford Bridge encounter.
‘It has been disturbing, sad and frustrating,’ Potter told the BBC.
It feels like the game has been attacked and the integrity of the game in this country and across Europe. It is about having your fate sorted on the pitch. Today was about competing on the pitch and we showed we could do that.’
Football fans have led huge protests over the last 48 hours against the new competition
Chelsea and Manchester City protest outside Stamford Bridge before the Blues Premier League encounter against Brighton on Tuesday evening
Fans had furiously protested outside of Stamford Bridge before the game, and news before kick-off soon trickled through of Chelsea and Manchester City announcing their intent to leave the Super League.
Potter revealed his delight at seeing the fan protest force a climbdown from the ‘Big Six’ and called on supporters to remain wary of owners only putting profits over competition.
‘It felt like a monopoly trying to control the competition for profit and not the supporters,’ Potter told Sky Sports.
‘It was nice to see the supporters out there and that feeling and emotion. It was universal in how everyone got behind the issue. Hopefully we can move forward. We have to remain vigilant.
‘Football is a fantastic game and there are people who can exploit it. We need to fight for supporters and communities and clubs. Nobody wants a franchise or their fate to be decided on anything other than the pitch.
Supporters up and down the country, including those of the breakaway six Premier League clubs signed up to join the Super League, voiced their anger over the controversial plans
Fans had also reacted with fury on Monday outside Elland Road before Leeds hosted Liverpool
‘Competition is what our sport is about. People have to realise they have a responsibility to that when they own football clubs. Football is more than a business. It is about people and identities and values.’
Adam Lallana who was a second half substitute for Brighton during the 0-0 draw also revealed his delight at seeing collective supporter action produce a positive outcome.
‘It is surreal. I was saying to one of the other lads I had this funny feeling all day,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘When we heard teams had pulled out it went away.’
‘What has been shown is that together we are stronger than anything. It is great to see everyone coming together as one. We want games like this to have meaning. We are fighting for our lives, Chelsea are going for the Champions League.’
Lallana also paid tribute to former Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson who was among players who spoke out against the Super League proposals.
He told Sky Sports: ‘He’s proven on countless occasions he leads the captains and the football club.’
Brighton midfielder Adam Lallana (centre) praised his former team-mate Jordan Henderson for leading a players’ revolt against the competition now set to collapse