Following the announcement of a proposed European Super League including six members of the English Premier League, the East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) has expressed its disapproval.
Chief Executive Scott Knowles said: “The East Midlands is home to some proud football clubs with incredible histories that many people in the sport will rightly point to when highlighting the reasons why a European Super League is such a bad idea.
“Nottingham Forest, of course, are two-time European Cup winners, many Derby County fans will remember their team reaching the semi-final of the same competition and it was only four years ago that Leicester City played in the Champions League – with big hopes they could qualify again for next season’s tournament.
“Previous calculations* have suggested the value of Leicester City playing in the Premier League is worth more than £16m per season to the city through accommodation, inner-city transport, and food and beverage spend, while the Champions League could be worth up to £5m.
“Should Nottingham Forest or Derby County manage to reach the Premier League in the near future, the cities of Nottingham and Derby could expect a similar economic uplift.
“But the implications of a European Super League on a watered-down Premier League in terms of wider interest – and the effective prohibition of these clubs from entering the top European competition – would likely mean such financial opportunities for these clubs and their communities would no longer be on the table.
“The same would be true for those clubs further down the football pyramid, including Mansfield Town, Notts County and Chesterfield. Supporters of these clubs are often invested, emotionally and financially, in the possibilities that exist of climbing the sporting ladder but a glass ceiling would no doubt diminish the rewards at every level of the game.
“The celebrations surrounding Leicester City’s success in the FA Cup semi-final, in which some fans were allowed to attend for the first time this year, demonstrated the important role that football clubs have in their communities and local economies.
“Yesterday’s occasion at Wembley offered us a welcome glimpse into the future of sizeable crowds eventually returning to stadiums, and the benefits this brings to businesses that rely on these large-scale events.
“So it’s hugely disappointing that as we should be revelling in such a positive step in our roadmap out of lockdown, we are instead talking about something which will only narrow the opportunities available to people in areas like the East Midlands.”
*Economic value of Leicester City playing in the Premier League calculated with figures from GoEuro. These show the value to the city of the football club playing in the Premier League across 19 home matches are:
- Accommodation: £42,000
- Inner-city transport: £7.58m
- Food and beverage: £9.03m
- Total: £16.6m
In the Champions League, Leicester could play six home matches if they go all the way. Average fan spend is calculated at £250 per each of the 3,200 allocated away fans, bringing an £800,000 benefit to the economy per match. For six matches, this would equal a £4.8m economic boost.
Home fans’ matchday spend, and Leicester fans travelling to away games, isn’t taken into account.