The match between Chelsea and Brighton ended in a 0-0 draw, but it was not just about the match – rather the brutal backlash by the Chelsea fans dominated the proceedings.

Chelsea were portrayed as the super-villains, who undermined the 125-year old history.

The t-shirts worn by Brighton during their warm-up summed up the feelings of the outraged majority: “Earn it; football is for the fans.”

The Chelsea supporters made it very clear before kick-off that they shared that sentiment. Even owner Roman Abramovich wasn’t spared their backlash. They called on him to give Chelsea back to the fans, despite 17 years of titles and trophies under the Russian.

Fittingly, the protest took place outside the Butcher’s Hook pub – formerly The Rising Sun – where Chelsea Football Club was established in 1905.

The outrage was all over the globe and the football community was united against a devilish concept.

What a tumultuous 48 hours it had been!

The elite clubs in Europe unleashed the idea of a breakaway football league known as the European Super League and triggered a Football War that almost threatened to tear the game apart. The concept of the Super League is all about money and football is not all about money, rather it is known as the game of the people that unites the world and even stops a war.

The Super League started to brand the concept by playing the victim card, blame game, modernization of football, young fans need something new and so on – the similar way once upon a time England branded Twenty20 Cricket and later on, a thug named Lalit Modi created the demon – Indian Premier League and completely disturbed the balance of world cricket.

The concept of Super League was almost heading that way, but the good thing is that in football the fans are much sensible and most of the players, experts, ex-footballers and journalists are not the puppets of the cash-thirsty souls. In football, one can try hard to become the BCCI – but still cannot be such because the majority of the people in football have the spine, courage and true love and passion for football.

And for which, they never accepted the Super League concept and the protest was huge across the globe.

Guess what, the passion of the fans won!

The U-turn of the Big Six of Premier League

Bayern Munich, one of the biggest clubs in Europe, already expressed their lack of interest in the concept while Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund followed the path and as the protest gathered momentum outside Anfield, Eithad and Stamford Bridge; the Super League experienced premature death.

According to the Guardian, “The Premier League’s Big Six clubs were forced into humiliating U-turns after a day of intrigue and outrage to leave the proposal of a European Super League in tatters.”

“Chelsea were the first to brief their withdrawal and, after Manchester City announced they were following suit, the final four – Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham – read the final rites over the breakaway competition just before 11pm with statements that ranged from the terse to the shame-faced.”

“There was a broad acknowledgement that the rebels had listened to their fans or, in Liverpool’s case “key stakeholders, both internally and externally”, although only Arsenal actually apologized for behaviour that, collectively, has been widely condemned as brazenly self-serving. The Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, did “regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal.”

“The Football Association had taken a key stand earlier on Tuesday when it warned that any club involved would be banned from the Premier League and all domestic competitions. Before Liverpool’s statement, to which nobody at the owner, Fenway Sports Group, put their name, two key figures from the club had voiced their opposition to the plan.”

“The captain, Jordan Henderson, said on behalf of the squad, “We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen. This is our collective position,” while Kenny Dalglish urged the owners to “do the right thing”.

“The FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, emboldened by the UK government’s pledge to do whatever it took in legislative terms to block the breakaway tournament, said his organization would take an uncompromising line with the rebel clubs.”

“Bullingham articulated the FA’s stance in a meeting with Premier League officials, including the chief executive, Richard Masters, and the division’s other 14 clubs, who were united in their opposition to the big six’s scheme. The FA is empowered to license clubs to compete – or otherwise. Bullingham and Masters had come off a separate call with Boris Johnson, who had reassured them that the government would move to support them if they encountered any issues with competition law. Put simply, Johnson said they would introduce new laws, if needed.”

“Bullingham also told the meeting the FA would refuse to grant governing body endorsements – essentially work permits – for overseas players at clubs that participated in the Super League. The meeting, which began at 11 am, was marked by a sense that each of the 14 clubs wanted the same thing – which is not always the case – and, as the day wore on, there would be a growing optimism that the breakaway had lost its impetus.”

“The Premier League had said in a strongly-worded statement after its meeting that the 14 clubs “unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans” for a Super League. It went on that it was “considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those shareholders involved to account under its rules.”

“Everton had earlier been fierce in their condemnation of the six English clubs involved in the Super League, accusing them of preposterous arrogance, subversive practices and disenfranchising their own supporters. Everton’s owner, Farhad Moshiri, told TalkSport: “This is six clubs attacking the very heart of the Premier League, and I think they should be disciplined.”

Unity is strength

The Super League was not just the abandonment of UEFA and its cup competitions; it was a threat to the competitiveness of the Premier League, La Liga and Italian Serie A.

It was a threat to the tradition and legacy for which a fan of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool or AC Milan held his or her head high and spoke about his club proudly.

The Super League was nothing but an attack on the sporting merit, and an affront to the fans who invest so much time and money in their beloved clubs.

For now, the Super League has been laid to rest. But one should not sit back and relax because the attempt to kick start this passion-killing idea would try to show their ugly face once again.

And, if they try to show up again, the fans across the globe would reunite.

Unity is strength and the majority of the football community showed those power-hungry people what football is all about.

Never forget, football is the game of the people.

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