The European Super League gave us two days. Almost.
Fewer than 48 hours after 12 of the richest and most prominent European soccer clubs announced they would be splitting from their respective leagues to form the European Super League, several of those clubs have pulled out, almost certainly ending any potential startup. The clubs will meet Tuesday night to formally disband the conceptualized league, according to a report.
Chelsea became the first club to pull out, and was followed by Manchester City, which confirmed that it has “formally enacted the procedures” to withdraw. By Tuesday evening, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur all announced they would join the clubs backing out of the Super League, marking all six Premier League that had committed to joining the Super League.
“We made a mistake, and we apologise for it,” Arsenal said in a statement.
Manchester United also announced that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, a figure who was instrumental in the club’s decision to seek involvement in the Super League, would be stepping down from his role at the end of the 2021 season.
Earlier on Tuesday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola called on his club’s ownership to comment on the matter.
“The right people have to clarify — they have the obligation, the duty, as soon as possible, today better than tomorrow, tomorrow better than the day after tomorrow, to come out all around the world,” Guardiola said. “Because it is a worldwide issue. Clarify what is the situation that is going to come, and the benefits, and why they took the decision these teams are going to play and the other ones not.”
The six other clubs that had announced they planned to form the league were AC Milan, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
When it was announced on Sunday, the move to form the league was denounced by the governing body of European soccer, UEFA.
“If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we – UEFA, the English FA, RFEF, FIGC, the Premier League, LaLiga, Lega Serie A, but also FIFA and all our member associations – will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever,” UEFA said in a statement Sunday.
The startup also faced vicious backlash from scores of fans, many of whom were supporters of the clubs that were proposing to break away.
According to social media posts Tuesday, fans of some of the clubs rushed to the street to celebrate after the news broke of the clubs’ decision to back off from creating the Super League.
The Premier League, of which Chelsea and Manchester City are members, had also issued a statement criticizing the decision to form the league.
“The Premier League, alongside The FA, met with clubs today to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal,” the statement read. “The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition. The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those Shareholders involved to account under its rules.”