People power has won out for now following the collapse of the European Super League but do not for a minute think the fight is over.
The notion of a football club being nothing without its fans is a romantic one. In the cold light of day, fans are consumers for owners and a resource to be tapped for financial gain.
But, when more money is waved in front of you simply for playing every midweek, then it becomes a huge temptation.
The owners of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea were swayed by the promise of £350 million each simply for helping launch the ESL.
Forget the Champions League and UEFA, this was about bringing more money in than even Europe’s governing body could offer.
The outrage, across the board, was predictable. Fans were furious and rightly so, but UEFA’s response was laughable.
President Aleksander Ceferin labelled some of those involved as “snakes” and “liars” for daring to launch their own rival competition.
There were threats to ban players from the clubs, which also included representatives from Spain and Italy, from participating in international competitions if this became a reality.
To be fair, the speed at which those with a vested interest mobilised to try to shout this down was impressive. It’s just a pity real issues like racism in the game are not tackled with the same ferocity and passion.
Make no mistake UEFA’s strong stance was driven by rage and fear that their own prized tournament would be rendered redundant, but the reaction has been nothing less than the pot calling the kettle black.
I would have shed no tears for Ceferin had the ESL become a reality. This is the man at the top of the same organisation which was ready to take European Championship games away from Hampden in June unless there was a guarantee fans would be allowed to attend.
It always comes back to the money and, with revenue streams in jeopardy, UEFA would have had no hesitation in pulling the plug on the National Stadium to get bums on seats somewhere else.
The Premier League in England joined the pundits in decrying the proposals for a 20–team breakaway competition and they were soon joined by the SPFL.
The same SPFL which has spent the week taking legal advice on whether Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts should be allowed to playoff for the right to face the bottom club in League Two for a chance to play in their leagues next season, because Brechin, who have been abysmal for years, believe it is unfair.
Do me a favour. As a former colleague of mine on the sports desk at the Press and Journal used to say: ‘you couldn’t take a blowtorch to that neck’.
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson also getting involved, Manchester City blinked first in withdrawing from the project and they were soon joined by the other Big Six from England as they are now known.
The universal condemnation had done enough to convince the powerbrokers that politically this was the ultimate hot potato, especially in the current Covid climate.
But if you think the likes of John W Henry of Liverpool or the Glazer family at Manchester United are going to walk away from the chance to add hundreds of millions of pounds to their coffers, you are kidding yourself.
The ball has stopped rolling for now, but it will not be long before someone dares to nudge it forward again.