Brighton chief executive Paul Barber says he felt ‘let down’ by plans for a European Super League and believes the proposals undermined the value of the Premier League.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham had agreed to become part of the 12-team breakaway competition, only to withdraw within 72 hours following widespread condemnation.
The 14 remaining Premier League clubs ‘vigorously’ refused to endorse the plans on Tuesday, hours before the so-called ‘Big Six’ made their respective U-turns, and Barber believes their collective conduct threatened to damage the league.
“I don’t want to breach the confidences of the meeting, but you can understand that feelings were high and strong. We felt let down, disappointed, angry,” Barber told Sky Sports News.
“These are colleagues, these are people that we work with week in, week out throughout any given season and we felt let down that conversations had taken place behind our back, undermining our investments in our clubs, our owners’ investments, undermining the overall value of the league, and that really isn’t a great position for any of us to be in.
“For the league’s value overall to be undermined, is a really significant issue.”
Brighton’s goalless draw against Chelsea on Tuesday was overshadowed by events off the pitch, first by the fans’ protests that took place before the game against proposals for a Super League, and then by the withdrawal announcements that followed.
Questions will now turn to what the next steps are and what, if any, punishments will be handed out to the six clubs involved.
While Barber acknowledged bridges would have to be rebuilt, he was keen to defer to the governing bodies on possible sanctions and has backed the Premier League and FA to act accordingly.
“It is really now down to the Premier League and the FA to look at the situation, determine whether their rules have been broken in any way and, if they have, then clearly they will need to take whatever action they feel is appropriate,” Barber added.
“I don’t think it is right for me to be judge and jury of my fellow clubs or peers, that’s not what I am here for.”