Where does football go from here?
It’s been a rollercoaster of a week in football. The news of the European Super league dominated media headlines, causing a huge uproar amongst governing bodies, players, fans, and even royalty.
Within 50 hours of the news breaking, the plans for the league were shattered.
The Impact of The European Super League:
There is no question that this has had a dramatic impact on the relationship between the clubs involved and fans. The vast majority of fans and players voiced their opinions that the organisers and the 12 founding clubs were ruining the game and that owners were simply ‘greedy’. They were set to take £200-£300m each, leaving the pyramid system in tatters, with no support for other smaller clubs and grassroots.
The cons of the league could be discussed for hours, but what’s next? How do the clubs go about rebuilding their relationships with fans?
Football represents history and traditions. a community built with fans at the heart, but their owners are businessmen who need to make their investment viable. Unfortunately in this case, the arguably out of touch members of the board, have really misread the room.
PR and social media have a big part to play in the fall out from the European Super League.
The Demise of the European Super League:
The demise of the European Super League was somewhat of a whirlwind. The power of digital marketing and social media humiliated those founding clubs. The world tuned in to their feeds to watch those live stream events as they happened. Social media not only speeded up but also amplified the rapidly de-railing train of events. Where usually news would emerge day by day, the community received hour by hour, or minute by minute updates.
Fan power had its roles to play in the 4 day Super League fallout. The crisis communication and Corporate PR teams of the clubs picked up the pieces and hurriedly released statements from the owners. This was the opportunity for owners to give genuine apologies to the fans and own their mistakes. However, not all statements have been received well. There is still much work to be done to build trust again, mend relationships and prevent any further alienation.
However, clubs now must pick up the pieces and their moves must be focused on their fans and about giving back to their much loved communities. For once, the business of football must take a step backwards, at least for a time.
We all know the age-old phrase, “Clubs are nothing without fans”. Even with a return to stadium plans in place post COVID-19, fans are already feeling distanced. Clubs will need to feel welcomed back with open arms, but the bitterness will be felt for a long time.
“I’m eager to see how the clubs plan to restore trust and to watch the response from the football community as the story continues to unfold” – Ruth Grimoldby, Senior Sport PR Specialist.