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After the Super League fiasco, we have one last chance to reclaim English football | Andy Burnham

The failed move to create a breakaway league shows we have no control – our great clubs could be taken from us in a heartbeat

All political careers are littered with regrets, and mine is no different. One of the biggest is that I never got to deliver a bombshell speech to the annual meeting of the Football League in the summer of 2009. That sense of regret has only intensified with the events of this week.

To explain, I have to go back to when I was appointed as culture secretary in early 2008. It caused immediate friction with the Premier League. We had history. We had clashed over the commercialisation of the game during my time on Labour’s football taskforce and as chair of Supporters Direct. And, as luck would have it, at the top of my in-tray was a proposal for a forerunner of the European Super League: “Game 39” – the Premier League’s outlandish plan to stage an extra round of league matches at neutral venues across the world.

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