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Men’s football Let’s use this power to tackle racism once and for all

THE power coursing through fans veins should be akin to Thanos collecting all five infinity stones and wearing the infinity gauntlet for the first time. You are unstoppable.

We always have.

Clubs know it and they’ve been banking on your not realising this as they pushed us around for decades.

This is why it is vital that fans stick together because there is still so much wrong with football which needs to be fixed. Now.

Season ticket prices. Away game prices. A new kit every year that costs upwards of £60 despite minimal changes.

“It’s been great to see the solidarity among Liverpool fans, and also from fan bases across all clubs over the past couple of days, and we should use this opportunity to affect genuine change,” a Liverpool supporters’ group Spion Kop 1906 statement read on Tuesday night.

“While we were all fighting against the new competition, Uefa passed through reforms which make the European Cup more elitist, with additional games and therefore expense for fans. It is important we all stand together to oppose this too.

“We’ve welcomed the support that Sky and others in the media have shown for fans over the past few days, and hope this leads them to look at their own treatment of fans and things that they can do around kick-off times, match tickets prices, and how ALL football fans are treated.

“This is just the start.”

It really is.

We have a World Cup staged in Qatar next year. A tournament in which the infrastructure has been built on the back of slaves.

People have died in building stadiums in Qatar and had we risen up years ago against this, who knows how many lives would have been saved.

It’s not too late though. There’s still enough time to force Fifa to listen and move the 2022 World Cup.

Now is the time for fans to push for the 50+1 ownership model which is alive and well in Germany.

There’s no other way to ensure that clubs don’t get the opportunity to try this again. And they will.

Their pride would have been dented and they would have already put down payments on a new mansion in a country where you don’t need to pay tax, a yacht to host their yearly cabal meeting.

We already know Uefa is pushing through its version of the European Super League from 2024, do you really think the 12 clubs that broke away don’t have their slimy hands all over this?

They were a part of the discussions, they came up with the ideas.

Now they have been forced to return after such a brutal loss, they will be looking for a way to further fine-tune the Champions League to their liking.

They have already managed to get Uefa to cough up an extra £4 billion, a “counter-offer” of sorts to get the clubs to return. And there were talks that if they weren’t tempted by that sum, an extra £3bn would have been found — I assume from the back of one of the sofas.

So use the demonstrations outside of Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night as the catalyst for change.

Arsenal fans will be out in force tomorrow night outside Ashburton Grove, demanding that owner Stan Kroenke packs his bags and closes the door on his way out.

By challenging these clubs on the aforementioned issues, teams will buckle as they don’t want, and can’t afford, the bad publicity.
Fans return stadiums in a few weeks, pending the Covid-19 latest. What better way to mark the return of live crowds than protest banners demanding ticket prices are lowered.

Force clubs to introduce the living wage for non-playing staff.

“The fans are the true owners of the football club and our support will always be with the staff, manager and players — FOOTBALL WITHOUT FANS IS NOTHING,” Spion Kop 1906’s statement concluded.

It is true though, without fans football is nothing. 

So perhaps, finally, supporters can make clubs and football’s governing bodies address the ongoing issue of discrimination — in any form.

From racism to homophobia, it must be eradicated from the game.

There was talk of players boycotting games, ripping up contracts, all in the name of a football competition.

The English PM, French PM and other key politicians across Europe were actually speaking about the greed these clubs were showing and how it was wrong.

You couldn’t turn on your TV without seeing the Uefa president speaking live about how these no-good clubs must be stopped. That this time they had gone to far.

How “any player that takes part in this competition would be BANNED from all future Uefa and Fifa competitions.”

How “the big six Premier League clubs would be banished from the top-flight and made to rot in the lower divisions.”

The powers that be were all speaking in unison, singing from the same hymn sheet.

Where was this collective protest when players are racially abused?

You can’t get Mr Johnson or Uefa boss Aleksander Ceferin to stick their head above the parapet when a black player gets called a monkey on social media. Or when monkey chants are heard in stadiums across the world.

Deafening silence.

Uefa and Fifa can find the power, or so they say, to ban a player or team from the Champions League or World Cup indefinitely when it suits them. But the minimum 10-game ban for Ondrej Kudela for racially abusing Rangers’ Glen Kamara.

Patrick Bamford said on Monday night after Leeds drew 1-1 against Liverpool: “It is amazing the uproar [about the Super League] that comes into the game when someone’s pocket is being hurt. It is a shame it isn’t like that with other things going wrong at the minute, like racism.”

Carlton Cole on Twitter on Monday: “A lot of people are asking me about the super league and my thoughts. Of course I am surprised, shocked and confused by the whole thing and stand with our fans but extremely disappointed at the same time. Disappointed that there isn’t this much energy towards racial abuse in the game.

“No joint statements from the governing bodies, no threats to ban countries from competitions. No player been banned from the World Cup or European championships. As soon as its a financial implication the consequences are different. That to me is a more pressing issue …

“Now everyone is encouraging the players to forfeit playing in the leagues and risk being sacked but when it was a racial issue it would put the club in a compromising position. We can’t have it both ways and it’s unfair on the players but like I said I stand with the fans.”

I’ll end on tweets from myself.

“Glad to see Uefa and Fifa want to ban players from playing in the Euros and World Cup who take part in the ESL.

“Now do the same for when players are racist …

“I’m really trying to not take away from the mess that is the ESL.

“But you see how quickly the important people in football and government are meeting to discuss this competition, doing daily press briefings etc.

“But when it comes to racism, these same people are missing.”

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