Super League to “reshape” as English clubs withdraw

Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Arsenal all confirmed they were withdrawing from the proposed Super League competition last night.

The decision comes after intense pressure being applied by English fans, commentators, football authorities and politicians opposed to the idea of creating an elite tournament which appeared to focus on maximising revenue, as well as threatening the ability of smaller clubs to take part.

Liverpool’s American owner John W Henry last night apologised to fans for pursuing the idea, admitting he had caused much “disruption” in the space of 48 hours.

“It goes without saying, but should be said, that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans. No-one ever thought differently in England. Over these 48 hours, you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you,” Henry said.

Super League chiefs this morning said they would take the “appropriate steps to reshape the project” following the hammerblow of losing all six founding English clubs.

“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due to the pressure put on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations as was demonstrated today by a court decision to protect the Super League from third party actions,” a statement read.

“Given the current circumstances, we shall reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project, always having in mind our goals of offering fans the best experience possible while enhancing solidarity payments for the entire football community.

“The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change. We are proposing a new European competition because the existing system does not work.

“Our proposal is aimed at allowing the sport to evolve while generating resources and stability for the full football pyramid, including helping to overcome the financial difficulties experienced by the entire football community as a result of the pandemic.”

The dam had begun to crack when Chelsea indicated they would back out of the Super League before their match against Brighton.

Fans at Stamford Bridge had blocked their team from entering the stadium, delaying their drawn match last night and demanding the removal of certain board members whose position they say is “untenable”.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said that it was “admirable to admit” a “big mistake” was made by the clubs.

“But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not just to our competitions but to the whole of the European game,” he insisted.

“The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this and move forward together.”

Manchester United’s vice-chairman Ed Woodward, whom Ceferin had branded a “liar” and a “snake”, announced yesterday that he would resign in the coming months.

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