In Leeds We Trust: If we, the fans, don’t protect the sport we love, then who will?
In this week’s column, the Board of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust look back on an astonishing few days in football, during which an uprising of fans led to the demise of the European Super League before it had even begun.
Football is for the fans. We should never forget that. So said the shirts our players warmed up in before our match against Liverpool, and so said the banner in the stands.
Never before have fans across this country and further afield been so united against the greed that has infected our game at the highest level.
The plans for a “European Super League” were the culmination of a trend that began much earlier, the trend of the sport we all love becoming corrupted by the intentions of billionaires who should be acting as custodians of the historic football clubs we have in this country.
As it stands, institutions such as FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League are not fully equipped to prevent them from achieving their goals. And more to the point, they cannot be trusted either.
While the outrage surrounding the Super League went on, UEFA managed to approve a revised Champions League format which promises spots in the competition to clubs with a high “club coefficient”, effectively ensuring that if an elite club has a poor season, they will still be in the competition.
So, when we can no longer trust our club owners, and we can no longer trust our footballing institutions, whose job does it become to preserve the sanctity of our game?
The fans. We must take things into our own hands, through supporter’s Trusts like our own and the many more across the country we make our voices heard.
We shouldn’t have to be so wary, but the last week has clearly shown us complacency is no longer an option.
At the Trust, we took action by organising the first protest at Elland Road, creating banners for outside the ground as well as having them flown over by plane with our message to SayNoToSuperLeague, ensuring that our position could not be any clearer.
We also welcomed Liverpool fans to the protest outside Elland Road, as the spotlight fell on our game against a prospective “Super League” team and offered the perfect opportunity to send a message to those in charge.
This type of impact is the very purpose of our Trust and those of other football clubs, to
ensure the voice of the fans is heard by those who influence the game at the highest levels.
We welcomed 75 new members on Monday amid the protest and if you wish to make your voice heard alongside them, we encourage you to join too.
For now, we’ve put a stop to this latest attack on our game, and it has been truly inspiring to see fans worldwide coming together and showing our influence, but it doesn’t stop here.
Let’s make this a turning point, from now on we have to remain vigilant and protect the sport we love. If we don’t, who will?
Adding your own voice to the Trust’s work is easy. Visit our new website at www.lufctrust.com and you can become a member for just £10 per year.
Marching on together.