Tribalism is alive and well between sporting codes, but when it comes to football the message was loud and clear - don't mess with it.
Teams ran the risk of losing their identity in a newly formed European Super League competition which many hoped would break away from competitions such as the English Premier League and La Liga.
In the end, the clubs ultimately saw it was a money play and withdrew their interest.
Liverpool legend Craig Johnston knows the ESL has bubbled along in the background for the past 20 years since it was first discussed in 1998.
But he never wants to see the proposed competition ever get off the ground as it flies in the face of what sport and football are all about.
"Nobody has said it yet, but if you're a true soccer supporter whether that's Manchester United, Portsmouth, Norwich, Southampton or Sheffield United there's a touch of masochism about supporting your team."Liverpool legend Craig Johnston
Last month English Premier League teams Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal - who originally showed an interest in being involved in the breakaway competition - all withdrew.
Three Spanish clubs - Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid - along with Italian clubs AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus had also expressed an interest.
"Nobody has said it yet, but if you're a true soccer supporter whether that's Manchester United, Portsmouth, Norwich, Southampton or Sheffield United there's a touch of masochism about supporting your team," Johnston said.
"You stick with your tribe, your boys, your posse - through thick and thin.
"If you grew up being an Evertonian and started supporting Liverpool when they started winning you'd be banished from the town centre."
The owners of the clubs aiming to be involved in the ESL misunderstood the product and completely misunderstood the customer.
And Johnston couldn't be happier.
"If you're in business and you don't understand those two basics you shouldn't be in that particular business," he said.
"It became clear very quickly that it was a complete money play and the people that are the customers have revolted and it's the best thing to happen to soccer since Leicester City's incredible performance."
Under the ESL proposal, while the rich clubs would get richer, it would come at the cost of a club's identity - and Johnston said that wasn't what sport was about.
"It's clear that what has happened is there was a lot of emotion around which is fantastic because sport and people and local politics are about identity," he said.
"It's about who you are, where you come from, where you are now and where you are going forward."
"What we love about sport is that you can be a big shiny bloke with a suit on and get humbled very quickly and you can be a scruffy street urchin that beats the world."Craig Johnston
Johnston overcame incredible odds after he left his Speers Point home as a 15-year-old to try his luck in English football.
He always had a soft spot for Newcastle and knows better than most the link between sport and a community's psyche.
"Right now at Newcastle we're struggling a bit because of the Jets and the Knights and because we just missed out on the Matildas (for the 2023 Women's World Cup)," he said.
"Our psyche is that we're a little bit down at the moment, but we're tough and we're resilient because we've had to be.
"Newcastle will come back as a town and I feel it now I've been back here for three or four years."
Johnston said the ESL was unlikely to ever work.
"What we love about sport is that you can be a big shiny bloke with a suit on and get humbled very quickly and you can be a scruffy street urchin that beats the world," he said.
Johnston will be a guest speaker at Port Macquarie Golf Club as part of a fundraiser for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Port Chamber of Commerce combined charity golf day on May 17.
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