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Plans for a controversial European Super League ended in tatters after widespread backlash from the wider football community forced the Premier League’s “Big Six” clubs to climb down and withdraw from their plans to become “founder member clubs” in the new venture.
However, the official announcement was met by universal disgust as the football community united in its condemnation of the plans.
With fans protesting outside grounds and statements of concern from managers and players, as well as a tidal wave of criticism from the media, the six Premier League clubs’ commitment to the new league quickly disintegrated.
All six have since announced their withdrawal from the proposed new league, with each club addressing the situation via a series of statements.
“As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake, and we apologise for it.”
A statement from Chelsea explained that, “Having joined the group late last week, we have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the Club, our supporters or the wider football community.”
“I want to apologise to all the fans of Liverpool Football Club for all of the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours,” he said.
“It goes without saying but it 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 past 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand.”
He continued, “It’s important that the Liverpool football family remains intact, vital and committed to what we’ve seen from you globally, with local gestures of kindness and support.
“I can promise you I will do whatever I can to further that.”
Manchester United also issued a short statement confirming their withdrawal, saying, “Manchester United will not be participating in the European Super League.
“We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders.
“We remain committed to working with others across the football community to come up with sustainable solutions to the long-term challenges facing the game.”
United’s withdrawal followed the news that the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward would depart the Old Trafford club at the end of 2021.
“We felt it was important that our club participated in the development of a possible new structure that sought to better ensure financial fair play and financial sustainability whilst delivering significantly increased support for the wider football pyramid.
“We believe that we should never stand still and that the sport should constantly review competitions and governance to ensure the game we all love continues to evolve and excite fans around the world.
“We should like to thank all those supporters who presented their considered opinions.”
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