Gary Neville has said that in attempting to form a European Super League, the Big Six nearly killed English football.
The European Super League was announced on Sunday and collapsed on Wednesday following a wave of criticism from fans, players, governing bodies and, in some cases, government officials.
However, the criticism has not abated, with Arsenal fans staging a mass protest against owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment ahead of their game with Everton.
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And Gary Neville – one of the projects most vociferous critics – said that the apologies offered by clubs as the project collapsed are not good enough.
"We nearly lost it, we nearly lost football in this country, in the way in which we've always known it which is fair and competitive,” began Neville on Sky Sports' Football's Civil War.
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“And we nearly lost our top six clubs from it. How can we be in that position ever again? Most of us would go along with a theory of an apology is acceptable. An apology is not acceptable in this instance, with regards to the six clubs. It can never be accepted, because last Sunday what they announced was the attempted murder of English football.
They attempted to kill English football forever, and they would have done it if they could. They attempted to take £300m extra every single year for the next 23 years as a guarantee for a different competition that other clubs couldn't get into.
"They then wanted to come back into our league, the Premier League, with £300m extra and expect the league to be as competitive as it has been over the last 20, 30, 40 years.
It would have destroyed the ethos of English football, it would have destroyed West Bromwich Albion, it would have destroyed Brighton and Hove Albion, it would have destroyed Everton. It would have destroyed Ajax and Bayern Munich in the German league.
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"What these six clubs have tried to do is freeze time, freeze the fact they are the 'big six' forever. That means you take away the ambition of every other single football club in this country to try and get into that top six, and that is absolutely scandalous. Saying I am sorry is not enough. Enough is enough, we have to do something big."
Neville added that all six clubs involved need to be hit with a severe punishment.
“Any punishments that can be handed to those six clubs in the short term should be given to them. Any punishments that can be given to them legally should be given, I'm absolutely certain of that.”
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