Premier League clubs quit Super League to leave breakaway plans in tatters

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Miguel Delaney,Ben Burrows and Alex Pattle
·4-min read
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<p>Fans protest The Super League outside Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground</p> (Getty Images)

Fans protest The Super League outside Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground

(Getty Images)

The six Premier League clubs that were set to be involved in the planned European Super League have withdrawn from the breakaway competition.

Manchester United, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham were all set to take part in the proposed tournament, alongside three La Liga teams from Spain and three of Italy’s Serie A sides.

Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona are the Spanish sides in question, with Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan being the Italian clubs.

On Tuesday evening, with pressure mounting on the participants amid widespread condemnation from fans, players, coaches and other clubs, the Premier League teams announced that they would not be competing in The Super League.

Man City were the first to announce that they were formally beginning the withdrawal process, before Arsenal, Liverpool, United and Tottenham released statements to say they would not be taking part.

Chelsea have note yet released a statement, but The Independent understands that the club are on the verge of withdrawing following fan protests outside Stamford Bridge ahead of the Blues’ 0-0 draw against Brighton on Tuesday night.

Ahead of United’s withdrawal, the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward resigned from his role, with the 49-year-old set to leave his position at the end of the year.

“We will not be participating in the European Super League,” read a United statement, while Liverpool said: “Liverpool Football Club can confirm that our involvement in proposed plans to form a European Super League has been discontinued.”

Arsenal, meanwhile, said in a statement to their supporters: “As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake, and we apologise for it.”

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said: “We regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal. We felt it was important that our club participated in the development of a possible new structure that sought to better ensure financial fair play and financial sustainability whilst delivering significantly increased support for the wider football pyramid.

“We believe that we should never stand still and that the sport should constantly review competitions and governance to ensure the game we all love continues to evolve and excite fans around the world. We should like to thank all those supporters who presented their considered opinions.”

The Premier League had earlier confirmed they were “considering all actions” against the six English clubs who intended to join the competition after a meeting of the other 14 clubs on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who met with the Premier League as well as The FA earlier on Tuesday, had vowed to use “a legislative bomb” to stop what he called an “anti-competitive” proposal.

It is understood Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson organised an emergency meeting of Premier League captains to discuss their own next step as the fallout from Sunday’s bombshell announcement continued before Reds players called en masse for their club to reject the move.

The proposal has been met with almost universal condemnation, with supporter groups and football figures such as Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher all voicing strong criticism.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola also offered his disapproval on Tuesday afternoon, describing the plans as “not sport”.

“A few hours before a statement was released they told me. No one speaks clearly with more details about what they are going to create,” he said in a press conference.

“We are not the right people to answer these questions. We don’t have all the information with (club) presidents do. I support by club.

“Sport is not a sport when the relationship between effort and success does not exist. It is not a sport if you can’t lose. It’s not fair if a team fights to get to the top and success is only guaranteed for some clubs.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expressed his own concerns on Monday evening.

“My feelings didn’t change. My opinion didn’t change,” he said ahead of the Premier League game with Leeds United. “I heard for the first time about it yesterday. I was trying to prepare for a difficult game.

“We got some information, not a lot. Most of the things in the newspapers. It’s a tough one. People are not happy with it, I can understand it.

“I can’t say a lot more because we were not involved in the process – not the players, not me – we didn’t know about it. We will have to wait how it develops.”

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, the first chairman of The Super League, defended the venture insisting the clubs involved have proposed it to “save football” but those plans could now be in tatters.

“We’re doing this to save football, which is in a critical moment,” he said on Spanish television on Monday night.

“The important clubs in England, Italy, and Spain must find a solution to a very bad situation that football is going through.

“The only way of making money from admissions is by making more competitive games that are more attractive, that fans around the world can see.”

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