Twitter users have responded to news of a possible launch of a new European Super League (ESL) by blaming Jews for “ruining football.”
The announcement of the ESL has proved controversial and unpopular with swathes of football fans due to the potential harm it is believed may be caused to domestic football leagues. Many fans apparently feel that the concept of the ESL is not in keeping with the game’s integrity.
However, for some Twitter users, what began as reasonable criticism regarding the direction of modern football quickly escalated into vitriolic, antisemitic accusations levelled against some of the league’s creators. who are the owners of the football clubs involved. Some of the owners or chairmen are Jewish. Among the tropes were claims of Jewish greed, a classic antisemitic notion.
One user wrote: “Notably, most of the owners of these ‘big’ football clubs pushing for a Super League are Jews, including Roman Abramovic and the Glazers…..Jews are ruining football, they dont give a f**** about the Gentile fans..”
Another tweeted: “All this talk of the European Super League. It’s jew rats behind it. All money grabbing c***s. It’s no wonder that people hate them as much as the muslims.” This abhorent post was accompanied by a popular antisemitic meme.
Yet another wrote: “Them 3 fat AMERICAN C***S YOU F***ING BASTARDS. And as for that Jew levy your family should have been gassed. Inters owners also ruined the cal champions. Perez is in the f***ing mafia”. Daniel Levy is the Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, one of the founding clubs of the ESL. He was recently targeted by antisemitic abuse online.“
Another still said: “Hey Zionists it’s not all about money you suckers“.
These were only a selection of the antisemitic abuse online, appealing to classic tropes of Jewish greed, parasitism and control, as well as references to the Holocaust. Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms. The Premier League and nineteen of its constituent clubs have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The beautiful game has some very hideous fans, and they are out in force on social media objecting in the most grotesque fashion to the possible launch of a new European Super League. No controversy, however great the passions it may stir, can justify the horrendous antisemitic abuse meted out by some Twitter users towards football clubs and their owners. The Premier League, the clubs and social media networks have a responsibility to remove this material immediately and punish the offenders with bans from attending matches. This minority of perpetrators bring shame to the majority of fans who want to see racism expelled from football.“
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.