European Super League won’t go ahead after Premier League teams withdraw

Breakaway European Super League founder and Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli says the competition can no longer continue after six English teams withdrew.

Asked whether the project could still progress after the exits, Agnelli said: “To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case.”

Plans were announced on Sunday for the Super League after 20 teams, which would include 15 founder members who would not be subject to possible relegation.

The 12 clubs who had signed up included Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham from England, three teams from La Liga, and three from Serie A, including Agnelli’s Juve.

But, after condemnation of the plans from figures throughout the sport and protest from supporters, the six Premier League teams announced on Tuesday that they were withdrawing from the breakaway competition.

Agnelli has now conceded defeat with regard to the Super League, although he insists the proposals represented the change he believes is needed in European football.

“I remain convinced of the beauty of that project,” said Agnelli. “But admittedly, I don’t think that the project is now still up and running.”

Manchester City became the first Premier League side to confirm they were pulling out with a statement reading: “Manchester City Football Club can confirm that it has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League.”

In a statement to their fans confirming their withdrawal, Arsenal said: “We made a mistake, and we apologise for it. “We know it will take time to restore your faith in what we are trying to achieve here at Arsenal but let us be clear that the decision to be part of the Super League was driven by our desire to protect Arsenal, the club you love, and to support the game you love through greater solidarity and financial stability.”

Manchester United said: “We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders. We remain committed to working with others across the football community to come up with sustainable solutions to the long-term challenges facing the game.”

Liverpool stated: “In recent days, the club has received representations from various key stakeholders, both internally and externally, and we would like to thank them for their valuable contributions.”

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy told his club’s website: “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.”

A Chelsea statement on Wednesday morning said: “We have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the club, our supporters or the wider football community.”


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