Late-night comedian James Corden opened Monday's The Late Late Show with a passionate monologue denouncing the newly announced Super League as "the end of the sport that we love."
"I'm heartbroken by it, genuinely heartbroken by it," Corden said in a nearly eight-minute segment. "I'm heartbroken because the owners of these teams have displayed the worst kind of greed I have ever seen in sport.
"Football is a working-class game where anyone can beat anyone on their day and it's that that makes it incredible, it's that that's made it a global force."
On Sunday, the proposed Super League announced that 12 of the biggest clubs in Europe—including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Liverpool among others—had committed to joining a breakaway league to rival the UEFA Champions League. The announcement has been widely criticized by fans and players alike, and has led to fan protests in several cities throughout Europe.
The clubs from England, Italy and Spain would still take part in their respective domestic leagues (Premier League, Serie A, La Liga) but would play perennially in the Super League without fear of losing their place, while only five places would be reserved for non–Super League members to qualify each season.
Corden, a prominent West Ham fan, was on the verge of tears at the end of his opening monologue when he considered the impact of the proposed Super League on the communities of fans that hold up the sport, especially smaller clubs.
"It's hard to express how much communities rely on football, not just financially, which is considerable, but football is a focal point of a town's hopes and dreams," Corden said. "These dreams, they've just been shattered not just in Britain, across Europe. And the reason the dreams have been shattered and discarded is so that a group of billionaires can buy themselves a bigger boat or a second boat."
With pending litigation and threats of expulsion from UEFA and FIFA, the Super League still has a long way to go before it becomes a reality. However, if it does come to fruition, Corden said it's up to soccer fans to place the blame squarely on the defecting owners.
"Don't ever forget that it was them, those owners," Corden said. "They took something so pure and so beautiful and they beat the love and the joy out of it and they did it for money. They just did it for money. And it's disgusting."
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