Sam Allardyce: We must protect game from another breakaway attempt

Albion boss Sam Allardyce has warned any plans for a Super League are merely on hold until football’s governing bodies get their act together.

File photo dated 07-03-2021 of West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce reacts after the final whistle during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Issue date: Friday March 12, 2021. PA Photo. Sam Allardyce would rank Premier League survival with West Brom as the greatest escape act of his 30-year managerial career. See PA story SOCCER West Brom. Photo credit should read Michael Steele/PA Wire..
File photo dated 07-03-2021 of West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce reacts after the final whistle during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Issue date: Friday March 12, 2021. PA Photo. Sam Allardyce would rank Premier League survival with West Brom as the greatest escape act of his 30-year managerial career. See PA story SOCCER West Brom. Photo credit should read Michael Steele/PA Wire..

A turbulent few days has seen football rocked by a proposal for a European Super League that included Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.

A furious backlash from supporters, players and managers means that plan how looks dead in the water.

But by signing the agreement to join, Allardyce says the so-called big six have shown how little respect they have for the English football pyramid.

And he says fans trusts, the FA, the PFA, the LMA, the Premier League and the EFL now have to come together to ensure clubs aren’t tempted to break away in the future.

“The devastating impact of what was done has been far reaching across the country,” Allardyce said. “It would have been extremely damaging to the pyramid of this historical, national, game.

“Now lessons have to be learned, especially for the governing bodies who run our game.

“Unless we better protect the structure of our game, we could see this again.

“It wasn’t a new idea, it was a new format, a super league has been talked about for many, many, years.

“The bigger boys have been trying to get a bigger share of the pot for a long time. We have to protect ourselves now.

“That’s not my responsibility, you can’t ask me how it should be done.

“But I can suggest the stakeholders have a bigger influence – that is the fan trusts, the PFA, the LMA, the FA, the EFL, and the Premier League.

“There must be some way, for once, they can come together and put in better rules, regulations and a better way forward.

“If they do then maybe we can avoid this situation again.

“Until then, until we get the stakeholders to communicate with each other, I think we will find ourselves open to other changes.

“Changes that are on the basis of ‘we want more money, we want more branding’, changes that are irrespective of football in general because they don’t care.”

Allardyce says rules now have to implemented that ensure clubs face heavy sanctions if they join a breakaway league.

“This has been sneaky, it has been secret meetings for months if not years,” he continued. “Talk regarding breakaway leagues has happened before. The Premier League structure has resisted it so far but now we have to make the structure stronger so it can’t happen again.

“We have to make sure if it happens again the punishments are greater and more severe.

“We have got to keep the pyramid of football for the sake of our national game.

“I am a football man born and bred – it’s deep in my veins and in my heart.

“In football clubs, managers, coaches, players all feel the same as me.

“But the upper echelons of football clubs are not that way – they are businessmen and billionaires.

“They cannot have the same affection for football as we do, I understand that.

“But if you come into it, you have to understand what it means to communities and what it means to fans, what it means to families and individuals.

“There is a lot we need to evaluate – not just these regulations.

“We can’t keep paying out more than we raise. Even in a pandemic, £300million was paid out to agents. We have got to look at that.”

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