Blackpool boss Neil Critchley so thankful football's tradition and history have been saved from European Super League

Neil Critchley has described the collapse of the controversial European Super League plans as a victory for football supporters.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 8:00 am

Read More

Read More
Neil Critchley provides encouraging news from Daniel Gretarsson's scan, plus upd...

After a furious backlash against the proposed tournament that was announced on Sunday, all six Premier League clubs involved withdrew on Tuesday.

Spanish club Atletico Madrid and Italian sides AC Milan and Inter Milan have also formally pulled out.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Neil Critchley says the events of the past few days have restored his faith in the football supporters of this country

“My initial reaction was that the supporters won’t allow this to happen. In the end, that’s what has happened,” Critchley told The Gazette.

“The supporters of those big clubs, they know what is right and what is wrong and it’s a victory for the football people of this country.

“At one moment, it was a little silent for 24 hours so I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this could actually happen’.

“Then, quite quickly, it went from a slight possibility to it’s never going to happen and won’t be allowed.

“Everyone will be in agreement that common sense has been reached and that the football pyramid, the tradition and the history of football in this country needs to be protected beyond everything. Thankfully that’s happened.”

The backlash from supporters has proven once and for all the power fans have when they unite around a common goal.

That message will be especially pertinent for Blackpool’s fanbase, who came together in a boycott against the Oystons’ ownership of the club prior to their ultimate removal.

“It restores your faith in the supporters of this country,” Critchley added.

“They all support their clubs passionately. We’ve got a passionate support base, but they also know there’s a bigger picture.

“Everyone loves football as a whole and they know what’s right and what’s wrong. We all want our teams to win, but we all want to do it in a competitive way and in the right way.

“By splitting off into your own league, where there’s no promotion or relegation, that’s not competitive and that’s not fair.

“It’s just based on the size of your club and the size of your bank balance, which isn’t in the spirit of the game.

“It was quite welcome news, let’s put it that way.”

When the controversial plans were first announced at the weekend, Critchley told The Gazette he was “one million per cent” behind those fighting against it.

Pool’s head coach admitted he struggled to make sense of the proposals and believed the European Super League would have “scary” implications for the English game.

He said: “It was a complete shock when the news came through and I could not get my head round it at first.

“Then as the news escalated I was thinking this can’t be true and surely this can’t be right.

“I’ve listened to a lot of people and the groundswell of opinion seems to be that this isn’t right and I’m one million per cent behind that.

“It is really badly timed. I’m not sure it’s for the good of the game and that really concerns me. The implications if it happened are quite scary for the game in this country.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here