The Leeds striker is disgusted by plans for a breakaway football division but feels other issues in the sport must also be addressed as well
Leeds striker Patrick Bamford has agreed with many fans that the proposed Super League is a toxic idea, but has questioned whether those people should also be speaking out more about racism in football.
After Leeds earned a 1-1 draw with Liverpool, one of 12 clubs who’ve backed the new competition, Bamford said “it is amazing the uproar [about the Super League] that comes into the game when someone’s pocket is being hurt. It is a shame it isn’t like that with other things going wrong at the minute, like racism.”
Racism has been problematic in football and wider society for years but has been superpowered by social media platforms that allow people to anonymously spew slurs toward players online. Punishment and prevention techniques have been insufficient, particularly when contrasted with such an overwhelming reaction to sport-related events such as the announced Super League plans.
What has been said?
“We have just seen what everyone has seen [with the Super League news],” Bamford told Sky Sports. “It is amazing the things they are talking about. I can’t comprehend. It is amazing the uproar that comes into the game when someone’s pocket is being hurt. It is a shame it isn’t like that with other things going wrong at the minute, like racism.
“We are like fans. We can’t believe [the Super League proposal] and don’t know what is going to happen. We are in shock. From what I have seen, I haven’t seen one fan who is happy, and football is ultimately about the fans. Without the fans football is nothing and it is important we stand our ground and show football is for the fans.”
What is the Super League?
The proposed Super League, officially announced by 12 clubs on Sunday, would be an annual competition that essentially bans almost everyone except the elite from participating on the grandest of stages.
Founding members could never be removed, regardless of performance level, while only five outsiders would compete each year. There are 12 founding clubs: six from the Premier League (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham); three from La Liga (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid); and three from Serie A (Inter, Juventus, AC Milan). Three more founding clubs are expected to be revealed at a later date.
It has been labeled a greedy cash grab by its critics and created concern about the survival of the vast number of teams who would be left out. Protests have been swift, including from Leeds and Liverpool’s own fans on Monday.
Racism in 2020-21
There have been two main areas where racism or alleged racism have popped up in football this season – from players (or referees) on the pitch, and from fans on social media.
The former has been an issue for decades, and many footballers are upset more hasn’t been done to combat it. Earlier this month, for example, Rangers’ Glen Kamara opened up about allegedly being called a “f*cking monkey” by a Slavia Prague player in the Europa League. There were also recent claims of racism in La Liga made by Valencia.
Problems on social media, meanwhile, are relatively new but have led to similar calls for more to be done both by technology companies and football organisations. Marcus Rashford, Antonio Rudiger and Reece James have been among those targeted this campaign.