The Premier League’s outcast clubs hammered their Big Six counterparts on Tuesday, accusing the rebels of ‘preposterous arrogance’.
During an emergency two-and-a-half-hour meeting, the 14 top-flight clubs not involved in the proposals for the European Super League ‘unanimously and vigorously’ rejected plans to allow the competition to go ahead.
Everton and Aston Villa — who have the budget and aspiration to break into European football — were said to be furious at the ESL plot.
The Premier League’s furious 14 outcasts held emergency talks on Tuesday (pictured: Leicester owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (left) and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright)
Sportsmail revealed that the remaining clubs were to hold crisis talks on Tuesday (pictured: Premier League chief executive Richard Masters)
Before City and Chelsea pulled out, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri suggested the rebels should be docked points, and the club released an explosive statement hitting out at the Big Six.
‘The Premier League should deduct points from these clubs,’ Moshiri said. ‘When clubs get deducted points for minor things — poaching a manager, a player, exceeding Financial Fair Play… these six clubs are attacking the very heart of the Premier League and they should be disciplined.’
The club statement added: ‘Everton is saddened and disappointed to see these proposals. Six clubs acting entirely in their own interests. Six clubs tarnishing the reputation of our league and the game. Six clubs choosing to disrespect every other club with whom they sit around the Premier League table. Six clubs taking for granted and even betraying the majority of football supporters across our country and beyond.
The West Ham (pic, owners David Gold and David Sullivan) board will be present in the meeting
‘At this time of national and international crisis — and a defining period for our game — clubs should be working together collaboratively with the ideals of our game and its supporters uppermost.
‘Instead, these clubs have been secretly conspiring to break away from a football pyramid that has served them so well.
‘The backlash is understandable and deserved — and has to be listened to. This preposterous arrogance is not wanted anywhere in football outside of the clubs that have drafted this plan.’
Dean Smith said the ESL risked shattering the dreams of clubs like Villa. ‘I was born in 1971 and at that time we were a third division club,’ said the Villa manager.
‘Eleven years later I watched them lift the European Cup. And that was the dream, they earned the right to do that by winning the League the previous season.
Aston Villa (pic, chief executive Christian Purslow) are said to be fuming at the developments
‘The Champions League needs to evolve, but to create your own Super League from where there is no promotion and relegation, it just baffles me. This idea, this concept takes away the whole fabric of sporting competition. For me, it is a total non-starter.’
Brendan Rodgers believes Leicester’s shock title win five years ago helped worry ‘the dirty dozen’ into trying to form the Super League.
‘It will have played a part,’ said Rodgers. ‘Throughout Europe, (the Leicester story) is maybe not what is wanted. The Leicester story shows what can happen in sport. Our job was to disrupt the market in a footballing sense. What defines whether you’re in the self-appointed top six? Clearly it must be money.’
West Ham, challenging for a place in the Champions League, said they were ‘vehemently opposed’ to the plans. A statement read: ‘These proposals are an attack on sporting integrity, undermine competition, and ignore those supporters, and those of the thousands of clubs and millions of players, from the Premier League to Sunday League, who can aspire to reach the top of the game.’