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BBC hits back at complaints over European Super League coverage: ‘It was editorially justified’

The BBC has addressed complaints about its ESL coverage (Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images)

The BBC has hit back at complaints that it received over its coverage of the proposed European Super League, with the broadcaster saying that it believes it was ‘proportionate and fair’.

Earlier this month, it was announced that 12 football clubs from England, Italy, and Spain – including the Premier League’s ‘big six’ Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool – had signed up to take part in the new league.

However, after widespread criticism, the ‘big six’ all withdrew, with fans, footballers and politicians voicing their staunch opposition to the plans.

In a statement published on its complaints board, the BBC said it has ‘received complaints over our coverage of the European Super League’.

The broadcaster stated that ‘plans for the creation of a European Super League (ESL) in football and its subsequent collapse has been a story of significance not just in the world of sport but more broadly too’.

Emphasising how popular football is across the UK and the world, the BBC outlined how even before its launch, the ESL ‘was able to secure billions of pounds in potential funding’.

A fan protests the ESL outside Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge (Picture: David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The firm said that the league would have had a ‘fundamental impact’ on football, across the world but also among smaller clubs in England, which is why ‘there was such a strong reaction’ to the proposal.

Since the announcement of the ESL, the government has said that it is to conduct a ‘fan-led review of football governance’, which the BBC said ‘could lead to significant change to the way the sport is run’.

The broadcaster stressed that the mass interest surrounding the ESL occurred over a matter of days, adding that ‘we have seen from the figures and audience reaction that there was high interest in following its development’.

As such, the BBC believes that its coverage of the subject was warranted.

‘Because of that we believe our coverage was editorially justified and we are confident it was proportionate and fair,’ the statement read.

Earlier this month, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke out about the fans who have continued to protest the ESL, insisting that it’s time to move on.

Speaking to BT Sport, he said: ‘We know it, it’s all clear now, people who made the decisions they learnt a lesson, I’m 100% sure.

‘Let’s just relax a little bit. We have to carry on, that’s always how it is. If something bad happens, we have to carry on – that’s what we try now.’

Credit: Original article published here.

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