European Super League to ‘reshape project’ in wake of English departures

Fans react after potential news that Chelsea are preparing to withdraw from the Super League
Fans react after potential news that Chelsea are preparing to withdraw from the Super League (PA Wire)
1:53am, Wed 21 Apr 2021
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The European Super League has announced it is considering “appropriate steps to reshape the project” after England’s so-called Big Six clubs announced they were leaving the proposed breakaway competition.

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning saw a flurry of withdrawals, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea all confirming their departures from the planned league.

The six Premier League clubs had joined forces with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan to create a rival competition to the Champions League.

The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change

However, the Super League remained defiant in its statement on Wednesday morning, adding it is “convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change”.

It said: “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.

“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.

“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 Super League, announced just 48 hours ago, was highly controversial because its ‘founder members’ – who were all apparently unhappy with UEFA’s proposed changes to the Champions League – were to be granted automatic entry each year.

It was met with immediate and fierce condemnation from across the sporting and political spectrum as well as widespread fan protest.

Chelsea v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Stamford Bridge (PA Wire)

There was also disgruntlement from within the clubs involved, with managers such as Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola voicing dissatisfaction.

News of the English clubs’ withdrawal was earlier met with a positive response from the Football Association.

A statement read: “We welcome news that some of the clubs have decided to abandon the plans for the European Super League, which threatened the whole football pyramid.

“English football has a proud history based on opportunity for all clubs and the game has been unanimous in its disapproval of a closed league. It was a position that, by design, could have divided our game; but instead, it has unified us all.”

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