Football: Super League clubs could be expelled

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The Independent Online
KEITH WISEMAN, the Football Association chairman, has dismissed the proposed European Super League as "Harlem Globetrotters stuff" and warned that competing clubs could be kicked out of their domestic tournaments.

Wiseman's warning comes as the Premiership authorities claim they have been kept in the dark by the proposals, which they oppose.

Wiseman, also a board member at Southampton, said: "It's very important for the established order of national associations to remain intact as the effective overall governing body of the game.

"This suggested league is unsanctioned football and if it came into existence I think clubs and players might well find themselves excluded from a whole world of sanctioned football."

Wiseman also believes that, apart from the effects the proposed league would have on the domestic game, it would be a flop.

"I think they'd be making a considerable mistake. I don't think the fan in this country would have the slightest interest in what would be exhibition games. It would be Harlem Globetrotters stuff.

"With no promotion or relegation people tire of it; it's maybe interesting for a year but it would fade away."

Opposition to the proposals is gathering momentum among the top Premiership managers, with Alex Ferguson saying: "The English league must not be broken up.

"When you assess English football, with all the traditional teams and the great matches you can get, is there anybody who really wants it changed?

"Fans still talk about our great nights with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, but would they talk about so much if they played these teams every week?" Ferguson said.

West Ham's managing director, Peter Storrie, said the Super League would "not do our club, any other club or football generally any good whatsoever," while Kenny Dalglish, the Newcastle manager, added: "How can it be a league if there is no relegation or promotion?"

Wim Jonk will become Danny Wilson's first signing as Sheffield Wednesday manager today when the midfielder completes his move for pounds 2.5m.

The 31-year-old, a key member of the Dutch France 98 squad, has agreed personal terms with the club and will sign a three-year deal.

"I've a very good feeling about joining Sheffield Wednesday and playing in the Premiership," he said.

"I'm very impressed with the club and the management and I'm looking forward to it very much."