FOOTBALL fans were united in their condemnation of the planned European Super League (ESL) this week.

The almost universal contempt for the proposals, which involved six Premier League clubs and sides from Italy and Spain, that the competition had collapsed within 48 hours of it being announced. The English contingent – Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs – all pulled out before others followed.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin was just one of those to give both barrels to the Super League’s organisers and the 12 teams who initially agreed to form the breakaway enterprise.

Ceferin described the plans as “disgraceful”, “cynical” and “fuelled by greed above all else”. The prospect of sharing a £3bn fund and the fact there would be no relegation from the league obviously enticed the owners of the dozen to sign up.

But they seriously misjudged the reaction of the fans and others in and around the game, including several players of clubs involved who stood with their supporters.

“One school of thought is that it was a big power play and the end game wasn’t a Super League but to challenge Uefa’s Champions League model,” said Graham Stonadge, treasurer of the Caldicot and Gloucester branch of the Liverpool Supporters’ Club.

“There was an air of inevitability about it all with the commercialisation of football and amount of money within the game.

“If there is an opportunity to make more money then global businesspeople are going to look at ways of expanding the opportunities to increase income.

READ MORE: Bale backs kids' poetry competition celebrating Wales at Euro 2020

“A Super League will probably happen at some stage but the fact they were trying to force it through now didn’t feel quite right.”

Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry apologised to fans after the reigning Premier League champions dropped out, the American taking full responsibility for the “disruption” he caused.

“The owners are the custodians of the club for the time being, the supporters will always be there,” added Stonadge.

“It was wrong because of the lack of jeopardy there would have been in a competition with no relegation and no chances for other clubs to play in it.

“Of the 12 clubs, I would say the majority had qualified for Europe most seasons during the last decade, but obviously a Super League would have meant that when you have something like Leicester City winning the league then they wouldn’t get to play against the very best.

“But you do have to ask the likes of Leicester and West Ham – if they were in the position of being offered a share of £3bn and a guaranteed place in the Super League, would they take it?”

Dave Squibb, secretary of the Swansea branch of the Manchester United Supporters’ Club, added: “What amazed me was how they tried to go through with this without seeming to have thought of the consequences.

READ MORE: Pubs and restaurants to open indoors from May 17

“If they had consulted everybody then they would have known how much animosity there was going to be towards it.

“Fans, players, managers and the media all condemned it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to do it again.”

Richard Hughes, who runs the Anglesey branch of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Club, said: “I was absolutely disgusted when I heard about it. It’s not what we are about at all.

“It was always going to be a non-starter, there was no chance of it happening. Playing the same teams week in and week out would get boring.

“The club has always been a part of my life, it’s the people who run it, including the chairman Daniel Levy, who I have totally lost faith in. We need new ownership now.”

Meanwhile, Andy Durkan of the Shrewsbury and Mid Wales branch of the Chelsea Supporters’ Club added: “I was confident it wouldn’t go through, but I didn’t expect it to collapse so quickly.

“You just can’t have a competition where there is no relegation or promotion, it goes against what football is all about. It was all down to money and greed.”