“In 1992, once the Premier League started, football became a business.”
John Barnes has called for the Premier League to introduce a salary cap in the wake of the attempted European Super League breakaway.
Barnes wants to see drastic action taken by fans in the wake of the ‘big six’ English clubs pulling out of the European Super League less than 48 hours after announcing they were joining their Spanish and Italian counterparts in the breakaway league.
The former Liverpool player wants to see more “control” in football, and he believes that bringing in a salary cap would help make it a “level playing field for every team in the Premier League”.
Barnes told BBC Breakfast: “If Liverpool fans are unhappy and they say they want to get rid of John Henry and want him to sell the club, who do they want him to sell the club to? Somebody with more money than him?
“If somebody comes in with the same amount of money, how do you think they got that money? By making decisions based on finance without regard (for the fans).
“The only way it (football) will work is if we can control football by bringing a salary cap in, controlling it, reviewing it, being better audited, so that it’s a level playing field for every team in the Premier League, so they can all spend the same amount of money.”
"This is a power struggle with elite groups"
Former Liverpool player John Barnes gives #BBCBreakfast his reaction to six English clubs withdrawing from European Super League plans.
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) April 21, 2021
The 57-year-old gave a stark warning to football fans, saying they haven’t got their game back and the last couple of days were merely a power struggle between Uefa, the Premier League and the European Super League.
“Let’s not make any mistake about what this was about. This was about 12 groups who wanted the power to exploit football,” Barnes told talkRADIO.
“It was never about the fans, it was about Uefa trying to hold on to power, the Premier League trying to hold on to their power, and this new group, the European Super League, trying to come into power.
“We have framed it in the way that yes, it is about the football fans taking their game back. In 1992, once the Premier League started, football became a business.
As 6 English clubs pull out of the European Super League, ex footballer John Barnes says it is not a victory for the fans: “The clubs are in this situation because of players' salaries. Will they be capped to help fans buy tickets? I don’t think so."@JuliaHB1 | @officialbarnesy pic.twitter.com/TMW2FH97hS
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) April 21, 2021
“And what football wanted was the biggest business money involved in football, and what the fans wanted was the people with the deepest pockets to come and take their clubs.
“We were then told that anyone who came into football had to understand the nature of football.
“It is the other way around. Once you have these big, multi-billionaire businessmen coming into football, football fans have to understand the nature of business. And of course we have not had the balance right.
“This is being framed as a power victory for the fans. It is not a victory for the fans, it’s a victory for whoever wins ‘can I exploit football fans?’ “
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