Former Manchester City chief executive David Bernstein has blasted his former club for their inclusion in the European Super League.
Bernstein, also formerly the chief executive of the FA, delivered a withering assessment of his clubs involvement for the competition that threatens to destroy football as we know it.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Bernstein said he felt ‘ashamed’ at being a City supporter and compared his own feelings to those of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher at how they responded to their teams, Manchester United and Liverpool, signing up to the plans.
Manchester City are among the 12 founding teams of the super league.
David Bernstein said, ‘I’m ashamed. I’ve supported Manchester City all my life. It’s a club I love. But I’m really ashamed, as I know Gary Neville has said he is about his old club Manchester United, and I think Jamie Carragher and Liverpool,’ Bernstein said.
‘I’m ashamed as clubs with that history should have great responsibility to the rest of the game.’
Bernstein said that the main form of hope against the proposals is that without promotion and relegation, the backbone of the thrills and spills of league football will be removed and in turn, it’ll erase the bulk of the interest in matches.
‘It’s a lifeline that I think’s only going to end, if it happens at all, very badly,’ he said.
‘Because a closed league, as they’re proposing, without promotion and relegation, without recognition of the rest of the game, is potentially a dead league. It won’t have the life of football as we understand it. I think the arrogance of these half a dozen English clubs is something to behold.
‘I think there are two things in play here: one is greed and the other is desperation.
‘And it’s because some of these clubs have incurred enormous debt. I believe certainly Barcelona and Real Madrid, and I think at least one of the English clubs, are approaching £1bn of debt.