Lancaster City boss Mark Fell believes many fans won’t forget in a hurry the greed shown by the “ESL SIX”

Boss Mark Fell believes clubs like Lancaster City could benefit from the pure greed and selfishness which is evident at the very top of the game.

By Craig Salmon
Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:53 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:56 am
Lancaster City boss Mark Fell
Lancaster City boss Mark Fell

The bombshell announcement on Sunday night that six of English football’s so-called top clubs planned to form a breakaway European Super League (ESL) with other protagonists around the continent sent shock waves across the world.

The level of protest and opposition against such proposals from all spectrums of the game has reached fever-pitch proportions this week, ultimately leading the six clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur – to make a humiliating climbdown.

While their withdrawal from the ESL has been welcomed, Fell believes many fans will find it hard to forget the actions of the owners of those clubs, who seemed intent on trampling over the century-old tradition and history of the beautiful game.

“What we have seen is the ugly side of football and it’s not nice to see,” said Fell. “Clubs like ourselves are trying so hard to keep our heads above water and trying to develop and then you see the levels of greed.

“The funny thing is it might have been good for us because I think this idea was turning that many people off, then we might have seen a few more people come down to Giant Axe.

“But I think that might happen anyway – to be honest it was getting that way before all this.

“I think people have been getting to the stage where they have had enough.

“It’s not just the cost of attending a Premier League games – it’s the cost of replica shirts,the merchandise.

“It’s the whole commercialisation of the game and how it’s been removed from normality.

“I see lots of posts and things on social media about non-league football. The fans can chat to players, they can go and have a drink with them in the bar afterwards.

“You can take your pint out and enjoy it on the terraces.

“I think the non-league game has the potential to rise out of this and say, ‘This is what football is all about’.

“You want to come and watch a good, decent-quality game of football with some good players on show.

“I think the fans want to have a better experience rather than going paying up to a tenner or whatever it is for a pint at a Premier League stadium.

“Hopefully, we can utilise this and put something on offer for people who decide that top-league football is not for them.”

Meanwhile, City are hopeful of kicking off the new football season with a fresh piece of silverware in their trophy cabinet.

The Dolly Blues are confident that their Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy final against Preswich Heys from the 2019-20 season, which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will go ahead in pre-season.

The Dolly Blues are also hoping to organise a mini pre-season tournament at the end of June, which could see four teams involved with a weekend finals day, which would also double up as a community fun event at Giant Axe.

“The communication that we have had from the LFA is that the game will still be played,” said Fell.

“The next available opportunity for that would be in pre-season so we may have one competitive game to play before the Northern Premier League season starts on August 14.

“That will be good and it would be great to start the season with some silverware.

“We are also working towards organising a tournament at the ground at the end of June which will probably involve other non-league clubs at different levels.”

Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.