The Middlesbrough Supporters Forum has today revealed that its campaign to prevent the creation of a ‘closed shop’ European Super League threatening the future of the entire game has received backing from one of the most powerful men in football.

Forum Chair Chris Joseph today described the support and assurances from Aleksander Ceferin, the President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) as ‘very significant and very good news for anyone who wants to ensure that football remains based on true competition and is open for all rather than becoming prisoner of those with the biggest bank balances.’

The Forum contacted Mr Ceferin amid reports that discussions have been held again recently between some of the biggest clubs in Europe and media bodies over the idea of creating an exclusive league, likely to include having a number of its games televised live at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon as part of a media package negotiated for the benefit of participating clubs only.

In a letter to Mr Ceferin the Forum warned that the proposal would only benefit the richest clubs at the expense of the poorest and stressed that leagues should never be closed but based on open competition.

It also warned against the threat which televised Super League games would pose to the tradition of fans enjoying 3.00pm Saturday kick-offs.

In his response Mr Ceferin told the Supporters Forum that ‘football competitions are and must remain open, through a promotion/relegation system based on on-field performance and fuelled by the solidarity of the rich to poor’ adding that domestic competitions are the bread and butter of fans who will continue to enjoy weekend games.

The UEFA President makes clear in his response to the Forum that the concept of the Super League reserved to only a handful of powerful clubs has never been considered by the Association and that its own statutes would make it impossible.

Said Mr Joseph “This message from the President of the governing body of football In Europe could not be clearer and it has implications for every part of the game and at every level, from the Champions League to the grass roots.

“We asked Mr Ceferin for an assurance that despite the continuing efforts from some of the richest clubs to make the game exclusive and purely for their own commercial interests UEFA remains committed to openness and true competition and we are delighted that he has given such a clear and positive response.”

FULL Correspondence is published on our website:- www.boro.support Contacts :- Chris Joseph on 07974 925851 or Dave Roberts on 07895 434340