On an otherwise unremarkable Sunday in April, The Times reported that six of our top English teams supported a breakaway European Super League. By Thursday the game was up, having imploded in a major backlash led by fans, the headlines leaping from the back pages to the front.

Even if you’re not a football fan, you couldn’t have missed it, such was the scale of shock and outrage.

Most fans quickly – rightly – came to the conclusion that it was all about the money. But as we all know – bottom line – no business is all about the money.

Because one other thing is immediately evident – and clear to anyone running a business, leading a team or overseeing a HR function:

The people weren’t consulted.


“I’m not against progress or change in football, but the manner in which these owners tried to go about it without consulting anyone was rather extreme, to say the least.”

Leon Osman

Former Everton footballer turned pundit


“I think what everybody needs to look at is how this happened, why it happened and how these owners got to a point where they thought they could get away with it.”

Andrew Mangan

Arsenal fan, owner and editor of Arseblog


The football family is a global one but also, by its very nature, tribal. In this instance, all fans were united in their utter disgust of the ESL plan. And they were united in demonstrating it. 

How did the organisers get it so wrong? They were ready to launch – they’d done the groundwork and got all the teams onboard.  

But nobody thought to ask the fans.

There was immediately a gaping chasm between leadership and the people at the heart of the business – the people without whom the business of football cannot work: the fans. The people who pay to see the games.


“It’s important for everybody to realise how powerful the collective can be when you leave aside the tribalism. Nobody is safe from these billionaires, who will happily screw over Arsenal fans and Tottenham fans and Liverpool fans and Manchester United fans … basically everyone in the pyramid, to get what they want. Nobody is safe from them.”

Andrew Mangan

Arsenal fan, owner and editor of Arseblog


The lesson for us in business and as employers is the importance of consultation in the change management process.

Even the clearest vision for a business will never work if you don’t have your people on board, getting behind it and driving it forward.

That’s why it’s essential to involve your people wherever and however possible.

And that’s especially true when you’re developing an EVP and Employer Brand to improve your ability to recruit great talent.


Because the best, most effective change comes from the inside out, not the top down.

Listen to your people

  • Ask them GOOD questions
  • Understand what they want
  • Give them purpose

Our courses show you how to do this step by step when you want to develop an EVP and Employer Brand, walking you through how to do your research, the value of engagement surveys and how focus groups can really inform your strategy and story.


But here’s the most powerful thing: including your people in the process elevates and amplifies everything.


Because people will feel included. Understood. They will appreciate having their feedback taken on board. They feel listened to. They are empowered. They feel respected.


All of those contribute to a team that is more engaged, more proactive, more willing to contribute. They buy into the vision because they’ve had a hand in shaping it. They know what it means and – most importantly – they know how to implement it. They can work it.   


Critically – business critically – consulting people about an idea, strategy or a project will save you time and money wasted on what could be an otherwise monumental mistake.


And if that’s the lesson we can all take from the European Super League fiasco, then we’re all already much better off!


If you’re looking for a way to give your business a clearer focus and clearer edge when attracting, recruiting and retaining talent, ask us how you can get started.