Super League collapses after six British clubs withdraw

The London-Super League, after being abandoned by six British clubs, collapsed before the ball was kicked at a European departure tournament, stalling Spanish and Italian participants.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham have been warned by the British government throughout Tuesday night that supporters will rise and legislation may be introduced to stop them. In the meantime, he abandoned the proposal to start a mid-week tournament that was largely closed.

The Super League project was overseen by President Florentino Perez of Real Madrid, who also joined Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in Spain, Juventus in Italy, AC Milan and Inter Milan. UEFA’s Champions League rivals would not be feasible without the six clubs of the world’s wealthiest leagues.

The rest of the fledgling super-league organizations are rebellious, blaming the “pressure” applied to force the exclusion of British clubs, and the proposal is legally compliant, but somehow revived. Insisted that it was possible.

United Kingdom Soccer Super League
Chelsea fans protest outside London’s Stamford Bridge Stadium in opposition to the decision to include Chelsea in clubs trying to form a new European Super League on April 20, 2021. (Matt Dunham / AP photo)

In a statement, the Super League said, “In light of the current situation, we want to rebuild the project, always keeping in mind the goal of providing the best experience for our fans while strengthening solidarity payments across the football community. Review the most appropriate procedure for. “

The British club has noted an appeal from UEFA President Alexander Cheferin to remain part of the Champions League, which has qualification criteria based on the team’s performance in the national league.

“Yesterday I said it was great to admit mistakes, but these clubs made big mistakes,” he said. “But they are now back in the fold and I know there’s a lot we can offer not just for our tournament, but for the whole European game.

“The important thing now is to move on, rebuild the unity that the game has enjoyed so far, and move forward together.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and his teammates posted a message claiming to stay at the European tournament when it was revealed that Chelsea and City would leave the Super League on Tuesday night. ..

Liverpool, owned by the Boston Red Sox investment group, finally issued a statement thanking people inside and outside the club for their “valuable contributions” before deciding to stick to the existing structure.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw also opposed the club by tweeting support for the existing Champions League minutes before the club changed.

“We have listened carefully to the reactions of our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders,” said a club owned by the American Glazer family and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. “We continue to work with others throughout the football community to come up with sustainable solutions to the long-term challenges facing the game.”

Stan Kroenke has the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams in his portfolio with Arsenal, as the Glazers also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is a closed model of American sports that was believed to be very attractive to American owners by providing financial certainty.

But they were resisted by fans of British clubs.

“It was never our intention to cause such pain, but when the invitation to the Super League came, we knew there was no guarantee, so to ensure the protection of Arsenal and its future. I didn’t want to be left behind, “said the London Club. “Recently, after hearing from you and the wider football community, we have withdrawn from the proposed Super League. We apologize for making a mistake.

“We know it will take time to regain confidence in what we are trying to achieve here in Arsenal, but the decision to join the Super League is our desire to protect your beloved club, Arsenal. Let’s clarify what was promoted by, and to support the game you love through greater solidarity and financial stability. “

Tottenham also explained in detail why he signed up before withdrawing.

“I regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal,” said Daniel Levy. “We are working on the development of possible new structures aimed at ensuring financial fair play and financial sustainability while significantly increasing support for the wider football pyramid. I felt it was important to participate.

“We must never stop, and we believe that sports need to constantly reassess competition and governance so that the games we all love continue to evolve and excite fans around the world. “

Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, said he only joined the Super League group last week.

“We now have time to fully consider the issue and continued participation in these plans will not be in the best interests of the club, supporters, or the wider football community,” Chelsea said in a post-match statement. I did. ” Opposition to Brighton was delayed by fan protests outside Stamford Bridge Stadium.

The Premier League threatened to sanction six rebel clubs, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson considered introducing a law to prevent him from forming a new European competition he called a “cartel.”

Divisions within the Super League club have also grown with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, saying the Super League undermines the integrity and value of the sport. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has also expressed concern about the behavior of club owners.

The Premier League threatened to expel six clubs if they tried to go alone in Europe. The other 14 clubs met on Tuesday and rejected the Super League plan “unanimously and vigorously.”

British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the non-contact owner “completely misunderstood the strength of emotions from fans, players and from all over the country.”

The government is nominally seeking to adopt the German 50 plus 1 rule, which gives fans most of their voting rights to prevent clubs from being dominated by individual investors.

“Our fan-led reviews are still going on and I’m convinced of the need for reform,” Dauden said. “We need to prevent this from happening again.”

Everton have accused the Super League club of “outrageous arrogance.” Everton’s nine titles were the fourth most popular by the team in the history of Britain’s top divisions, and Merseyside clubs were considered part of the country’s elite in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“The backlash is understandable and worthy and needs to be listened to,” Everton’s board said in a statement. “This ridiculous arrogance is not desired anywhere in football except the club that drafted this plan.”

The Italian club refused to comment earlier and the Spanish team did not comment late Tuesday.

Rob Harris

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