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Nicky Butt says European Super League club owners involved in ‘worst case of bullying’

nicky butt

“Whether they apologise or not is irrelevant to me really.”

Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt says those involved in the European Super League plans demonstrated the “worst case of bullying”.

Nicky Butt.

The European Super League proposals sparked a furious backlash from fans and pundits leading to Chelsea and Manchester City initially withdrawing on Tuesday night, followed by Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Atletico Madrid and all three Italian clubs subsequently withdrew on Wednesday morning leaving just Barcelona and Real Madrid left in the breakaway league.

The former United head of first-team development was speaking for the first time since leaving that role and spoke out against the people who organised the European Super League, calling any future apology “irrelevant”.

“I don’t think an apology is too great anyway if I’m honest. I think what happened should never have happened,” Butt told Sky Sports.

“What happened is the worst case of bullying in my opinion, from powerful people, so whether they apologise or not is irrelevant to me really.”

butt united


Butt was asked whether it would take time for club owners to regain the trust of fans after attempting to organise a breakaway league that would have seen the top of European football effectively become a closed shop.

“A hell of a long time and I don’t see how it’s possible,” he continued.

“It’s difficult to regain someone’s trust after going behind people’s backs for so long. It’s going to be difficult, I don’t know how they do it.

“I think that’s how some of these businessmen work, they work in the shadows if you like and they do what they think is right but I think the shocking thing is they can’t have empathy for the fan that makes this sport so great.

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“Without the fans, the sport is nothing, and to not be on board with what I think the fans want is, that’s the alarming thing for me.

“So it’s a lesson to people who come into the country and come into powerful football clubs and think that they can do whatever they want because they are owners and they are very, very wealthy.

“Over the last few hours in this country, it has proved not to be the case.”

butt united

Head of first-team development.

The 46-year-old left his role at Old Trafford last month but insisted that it had nothing to do with the club’s owners or anything going on behind the scenes.

“No, not at all. I was comfortable in my job; I was comfortable in my surroundings,” Butt added.

“Again, it was just a personal choice to leave the club because I felt like it was my time to go and explore other opportunities.

“Obviously, with what has gone on over the last few days, it looks like there was a reason I left but that wasn’t the reason.

“My reason for leaving was purely to accept new challenges that will hopefully come soon. I love the club. Always have, always will.”

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