- Six Premier League clubs bow to pressure and withdraw
- ESL puts out statement insisting proposal is legally sound
The European Super League has vowed to “reshape the project” after its plans were left in tatters following the withdrawal of the six English clubs initially signed up for the breakaway competition.
Chelsea led the way on Tuesday, signalling an abrupt U-turn just 48 hours after Sunday’s bombshell announcement about the creation of the controversial league. Manchester City followed suit before Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham completed the Premier League contingent’s embarrassing volte face.
“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due to the pressure on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations,” an ESL 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.”
Italian clubs Milan and Internazionale were on Tuesday night reportedly also considering jumping ship, leaving a third Serie A club, Juventus, and Spanish trio Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona as the last standing members of the breakaway group.
The six Premier League clubs bailed after a furious backlash to the plan from fans, players and managers over the past two days. The UK government expressed its willingness to use legislation to derail the project, while there was also a royal intervention from Prince William.
Meanwhile, the Football Association, European and world governing bodies Uefa and Fifa all threatened sanctions on clubs and bans for players at rebel clubs.
Yet undeterred by the fallout, the ESL, headed by Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez, said it remained committed to getting the project up and running, even though any competition that did emerge would bear little resemblance to what was originally planned.
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“The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change,” the statement said. “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 football pyramid, including helping to overcome the financial difficulties experienced by the entire football community as a result of the pandemic.
“It would also provide materially enhanced solidarity payments to all football stakeholders.”
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