ON SUNDAY night, the investment bankers, venture capitalists and hedge funds, who own the six biggest football clubs in Britain, announced that they were joining with six major European clubs to create a European Super League (ESL).
The ESL plan was simplicity itself – create a tiny bubble of 12 teams all playing each other with no relegation or promotion and the digital rights sold worldwide.
No need for fans filling stadiums or selling TV rights, none of these provide the inflated profits the owners wanted. Instead, a guaranteed, risk-free revenue stream.
A board member from one of the British clubs involved told Sky Sports that their owners believe their ‘primary job is to maximise our revenues and profits.’ The wider good of the game is not a concern – the only issue is to maximise profits.’
In fact the good of the game figured nowhere in their plans, just a relentless push to drive up profits at zero risk.
The EFL was nothing more than a direct reflection of the capitalist financial world, where bankers and hedge funds create risk-free environments for themselves to reap super profits and to hell with everyone else.
What these bankers and speculators didn’t reckon with, was the massive uprising of workers and young people passionate about their sport and clubs and determined to put a block on this plan.
In a few short days, the grand EFL scheme was killed stone dead by this unprecedented uprising against these multi-billionaire leeches on a game that workers insist passionately belongs to them not bankers and hedge funds.
The hatred and determination shown by workers and young people to put a large spoke in the wheel of the world’s largest bankers and finance capitalists, has a profoundly revolutionary content.
The working class is clearly in no mood to be treated as powerless objects to be manipulated and exploited for profit by a ruthless capitalist class prepared to trample over their lives for even bigger profits.
The same stubborn determination was first revealed by the Brexit referendum result and all the subsequent failed manoeuvrings by the Labour Party leadership to overturn the result and impose a second referendum, as instructed by the capitalist class of the UK and Europe.
The Labour Party was dealt a deadly blow by the working class in the 2019 general election for its betrayal of the referendum result. The mass movement of workers and youth over the EFL and the routing of the bankers must therefore not be underestimated.
It reflects a growing movement against the exploitation of every aspect of workers’ lives, as British capitalism in its crisis attempts to impose wage cutting and fire and rehire, alongside mass unemployment once the Tories end the furlough scheme in September.
The refusal of workers to submit to the instructions of the ruling class over Brexit, and now the uprising against the plans to destroy football as a working class sport, are a sign of what is to come.
Workers and especially youth who are the hardest hit by unemployment and poverty, will be taking to the streets, not just to stop the bankers in their tracks over football but in an uprising against the rule of the bankers to put an end to capitalism.
In 1925 Leon Trotsky, the co-leader of the Russian Revolution, wrote of the British working class that ‘the revolution will inevitably awaken in the British working class the deepest passions which have been skilfully restrained and suppressed by social conventions . . . and diverted along artificial channels with the aid of football and other forms of sport.’
Today capitalism is no longer able to divert the passions and anger of the working class – indeed the football rebellion has become an explosive sign of what is to come, such is the revolutionary nature of the
The burning issue of the day is to build a revolutionary leadership amongst workers and especially amongst youth that is prepared to lead the struggle for the working class to put an end to the bankers and bosses for good by seizing power and going forward to socialism.