Sport

Lincoln City Football Club have opposed plans for a new European Super League in the sport, suggesting the teams involved are attempting to “destroy the game”.

The European Super League is a proposed continental competition where a select group of clubs, including the Premier League’s ‘big six’ (Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United), would compete in a midweek competition.

The ESL would contain the same 15 founding teams each year, who cannot be relegated from this league, as well as five other qualifiers annually.

AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have already signed up for the ESL, with Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig of Germany expected to join too.

The founding clubs will be given a share of £3 billion for taking part in the league, further widening the financial gap between top teams and lower divisions.

The Football Association, along with continental and international governing bodies UEFA and FIFA, have said that any team or player who agrees to take part will be banned from domestic leagues as well as representing their country in future competitions.


BBC: Read more about what the European Super League is and what it will mean for football.


Calls for the league have been criticised across the country, with many suggesting it is merely an exclusive league for the elite to profit from, and Lincoln City have joined the opposition.

A spokesperson for the club said: “Our reaction to the announcement of the formation of a European Super League is one of deep sadness and dismay.

“For it to take place at a time when so many clubs and grass roots football are battling with the consequences of COVID-19 is reprehensible.

“We are vehemently against the concentration of power and ever-increasing wealth in the hands of just a few clubs who at a point in time believe they have the right to entrench that power and wealth forever.”

The Imps have also said that this move would set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the football pyramid.

The club added: “It will destroy the principles upon which the game has been played in England for more than a century and will have severe consequences on the football pyramid and beyond.

“We must not be fooled by empty promises of this wealth trickling down the pyramid. The falsehood of those promises was laid bare upon proper analysis of the figures contained in Project Big Picture.

“The time has come to put an end to this disgraceful money and power grab. To compromise yet again with these so-called big clubs will only delay the inevitable.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also slammed the ESL plans, saying he would “look at everything that we can do with the football authorities to make sure that this doesn’t go ahead in the way that it’s currently being proposed.”

Grimsby Town have also joined in the discussion, hosting an amnesty for charity, where fans of the aforementioned ‘big six’ can trade in their football shirts for Grimsby Town ones, with the other shirts going to humanitarian groups in Africa.

Lincoln City’s LNER Stadium will be back open as a public space for anyone to come and ‘Take A Break’ later this month.

The League One club first launched ‘Take A Break’ last summer and due to popular demand it is returning after the latest lifting of lockdown restrictions, which allows people to meet in a group of up to six people.

The first Take A Break session will be held on Friday, April 23 between 11am-12.30pm at ten-minute intervals, with further dates to be announced in due course – book a free ticket here.

Tickets must be booked in advance and admittance will only be via allocated time slots, which can be selected at the time of people. The club said that one booking allows a maximum of six people from two households.

Entry is free, but you can donate to Lincoln City Foundation via a bucket collection should you wish to do so.

You can bring food, drink and other provisions into the stadium with you, but there will be no indoor facilities or toilets available.

Movement from seat to seat will not be permitted and social distancing rules and government guidelines must be followed.

The club said: “Of course, we want to make it as safe and easy as possible for you to book and enjoy your visit.

“The ‘Take A Break’ project will be strictly conducted under guidance set out to allow for time to be spent outdoors for recreation.”

Lincoln City winger Morgan Rogers has won the EFL’s Young Player of the Month award after some dazzling displays in March.

The Manchester City teenager, on loan at the Imps until the end of the season, scored three goals in seven games in March to pick up the award.

It comes as the 18-year-old’s influence on the team continues to grow, ahead of a League One promotion push at the end of the season.

Lincoln City currently find themselves in sixth place, hanging onto a play-off spot by a thread, with just eight games remaining of the regular season.

The England under-18 international said: “I’m really happy to have won the award and appreciate whoever chose me to win it.

“My aims now are to keep progressing and keep improving. I want to try and get as many goals and assists as possible but more importantly contribute to the team and make sure we’re winning games.

“I just need to keep learning and keep improving and see wherever this journey takes me.”

Next up for the Imps will be a home match against MK Dons on Tuesday, April 13, before two away trips to Bristol Rovers and Burton Albion on Saturday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 20 respectively.

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