As long as fans want owners with deep pockets, football will never be a level playing field

The past seven days have been claimed as a heartwarming victory for the egalitarian instincts of football “fan power”. It was only last Sunday that the owners of the self-styled “big six” of the English game announced that they were removing themselves into a different sporting sphere, one in which they could, in perpetuity, admire their collective Bigness, alongside a handful of equally Massive continental peers – and in which the traditional footballing virtues of failure, relegation, despair and near-bankruptcy would no longer be options. What followed was like a rewrite of the Craig David song; the Super League “founders” were pilloried on Monday, panicking on Tuesday, capitulating on Wednesday and distantly contrite by Friday. “Seismic” is the word that pundits reached for to describe the original announcement, but in the end the break-away bid hardly rattled the crockery.

Related: Super League shows why the deliberate ‘stupidising’ of sport must be resisted | Barney Ronay

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