Soccer (or football to international fans) isn’t usually a topic for American late night fodder. But as an Englishman and avid soccer/football fan, The Late Late Show’s James Corden decided to use his platform to comment on the sport he loves. Recent developments within the European Soccer League got the late night host quite riled up. This led to Corden speaking out against some owners forming a Super League, which caused the host to go viral for his impassioned football Super League speech.
For the average American, this news wasn’t a huge deal. But for many Brits (or Europeans in general), the announcement of a Super League was the latest disappointment in recent years by football owners. James Corden decided to air out his frustration over the decision on his late night talk show. The Cats star pointed out the already-established Challenger League, which is like the proposed new league. Corden broke down what this latest decision spells for the worldwide sport:
The truth is that this whole thing, making this move, these teams, these owners are killing. They will kill hundreds of other football teams that compete with them and have competed with them over the years, disregarding the fanbases of those teams and of their own teams who are also devastated. And I'm heartbroken by it. Genuinely heartbroken. Because the owners of these teams have displayed the worst kind of greed I've ever seen in sport. Many football teams in Britain are over 100 years old and they were started by working-class people; dock workers, builders ... built by and for the communities that they play in. They are not franchises. These new billionaire owners have in the past 10-15 years have been buying up all the top teams and slowly but surely moved them away from the communities and foundations on which these teams were built.
Before James Corden went on his viral rant, the owners involved in the European Super League released an official statement about the formation of the controversial league. They blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the formation of the new soccer league. Corden responded to that argument by lamenting:
The statement from the twelve owners and why they've announced such a jaw-dropping plan, during the season where there's still seven games to go, is disgusting. Three times they mention the pandemic as a reason to do this. A pandemic that has been catastrophic for clubs and communities across Britain.
After blasting the twelve owners, James Corden recalled how foundational soccer teams and clubs are to their communities. The Golden Globe-nominated actor reminded the audience of how huge and important the sport is in Europe by stating:
It’s hard to express how much these communities rely on football not just financially, which is considerable. Football’s, like, a focal point of a town’s hopes and dreams. That’s what it is, you know, and these dreams, they’ve just been shattered not just in Britain, all across Europe.
James Corden’s words weren’t just that of a whining celebrity but those of a man who grew up watching and loving the sport his whole life. The Prom star was able to break down the issue in a way casual, avid and non-soccer fans could understand. Check out Corden’s full speech as posted on Twitter below:
While American audiences can be indifferent toward soccer, it was great to see James Corden voice his opinion about a sport with a long history and known for birthing worldwide superstars. Hopefully, when everything is done, soccer fans around the world, including Corden, will be heard before the league becomes a real thing. If you want to watch more from the late night host, check out The Late Late Show weeknights at 12:35 a.m. ET on CBS.