James Milner has become one of the first Premier League players to publicly voice his opposition to the plans for a European Super League.
The Liverpool star has spoken about his dislike for the plans for a new competition, which his club signed up to as one of 12 founding members, as confirmed by an announcement last night.
Liverpool are one of six English clubs to be named in a statement confirming plans for a European Super League, which would see 20 teams compete each season in a new competition, separate from the exisiting European competitions.
The plans have received widespread criticism from fans and pundits alike, while former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil and Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes have been among the players to voice their concerns about it.
And Milner has said he agrees with those who are against the plans, adding that he does not like the proposals.
“For us, we just try to concentrate on the game, there’s obviously a lot going on and for us, we just have to try and be professional and concentrate on the game,” he said, speaking to Sky Sports after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Leeds United in the Premier League.
“The same as everyone else, really, it broke yesterday and that’s the first we heard of it.
“It’s the same as everyone, there’s a lot of questions. In my personal opinion, I don’t like it and hopefully it doesn’t happen.
“Probably the same reasons that everyone else has been talking about over the last day, obviously it’s been difficult for us, with the game and we’d try to prepare for the game but I can only imagine what’s been said about it and I’d probably agree with most of it.
“The players don’t have a say, so the welcome we got to the ground tonight felt a bit unjust obviously because we’re here to play football and have no control of it, but we need to get on the field and finish the season strong.”
His comments echo what Ozil said in a statement earlier, in which he was critical of the proposals for the new competition.
He said: “Kids grow up dreaming to win the World Cup and the Champions League – not any Super League,” Ozil posted on his Twitter page. “The enjoyment of big games is that they only happen once or twice a year, not every week.
“Really hard to understand for all football fans out there…”
Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has also spoken out on social media, stating in a post that ‘dreams can’t be bought’.
Meanwhile, former Manchester United midfielder Herrera, who is now on the books of French giants Paris Saint-Germain, who have not joined the European Super League, has also blasted the plan.
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In a statement released on his own Twitter page, the Spaniard said: “I fell in love with popular football, with the football of the fans, with the dream of seeing the team of my heart compete against the greatest.
“If this European Super League advances, those dreams are over, the illusions of the fans of the teams that are not giants of not being able to win on the field competing in the best competitions will end.
“I love football and I cannot remain silent about this. I believe in an improved Champions League, but not in the rich stealing what people created, which is nothing more than the most beautiful sport on the planet.”