‘The winner is the status quo’ – Barnes sends warning over ESL

John Barnes has warned that the European Super League exit is not a victory for the fans, but a victory for the ‘status quo of football exploitation’.

The Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ have now left the ESL after widespread condemnation from fans.

It’s thought that the proposed European competition will now collapse without half of its founding members.

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The news has led to a celebration amongst all those involved in sport. It shows that fans do have a voice and that club owners will listen to them.

But Barnes has warned that our beautiful game has been exploited since long before the ESL plans were announced.

He said: “This has been a power struggle. Let’s not be fooled, the fans have got nothing to do with this.

“This is a power struggle between elite groups – UEFA, FIFA, Sky – everybody who runs football now, and a new group wanting to come in and take over and it’s right to exploit football and exploit the masses.

“So now that the fans have won, are the ticket prices going to be less? Infact, are they going to be able to get tickets? Are the share prices going to go down?

“I don’t know how they [the fans] have won. They may feel they have won, but the winner is the status quo, which has been that football has been exploited for years.”

Liverpool owner John W Henry publicly apologised to Reds fans after they withdrew from the ESL.

#FSGOut and #HenryOut have been trending on Twitter as fans try to make more significant change.

However, Barnes thinks any new owner would act in a similar way to Henry.

He continued: “If Liverpool fans are unhappy and they say they want to get rid of John Henry and want him to sell the club, who do they want him to sell the club to? Somebody with more money than him?

“If somebody comes in with the same amount of money, how do you think they got that money? By making decisions based on finance without regard [for the fans].”

Barnes put forward his ideas to make football fairer: “The only way it will work is if we can control football by bringing a salary cap in, controlling it, reviewing it, being better audited, so that it’s a level playing field for every team in the Premier League. So they can all spend the same amount of money.”

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