All six English club initially involved in the European Super League quit the project after the fans' furious reaction.
The controversial European Super League project has been suspended, since fans’ protests made most clubs backtrack. Chelsea was the first of the six English clubs to quit the highly criticized competition after fans’ outcry outside Stamford Bridge. Manchester City did the same shortly after, followed by Tottenham, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
The project of the European Super League included English big six and 14 other top European teams and aimed to become a rival to the Champions League. But it would be private matter between the founding member, with no chance for other clubs to qualify and compete for it.
The upheaval in European football
The news of the European Super League caused the fury of football fans all across Europe, soon after the announcement on Sunday night. And, at last, fans’ demonstrations got the upper hand against the new competition: last night it has been announced that the European Super League had been suspended.
Many voices were raised in opposition to the proposal of the Super League. The first dissenting opinion came from Prime Minister, who branded the ESL a cartel and pointed out they were trying to rob British fans of their football. Mr Johnson also proposed to introduce a low to ban ESL.
Last night, the match between Chelsea and Brighton started with 15 minutes of delay due to the protesting fans, who blocked the team buses outside the stadium. Right before the kick-off, a huge roar followed the news that Chelsea had withdrawn from the ESL.
In the middle of the storm, broadcasters like Amazon Prime, Sky and BT dissociated theirselves from the project.
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin called the rebel club leaders “snakes and liars” and Ed Woodward left Manchester United after 16 years, probably in protest against the ESL.
The clubs’ step backwards
Club executives didn’t expect such a backlash from the supporters. Daniel Levy, chairman of Spurs, told he regrets the upset caused by the ESL proposal.
In a statement, he explained the club’s reasons: “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.”
Also Arsenal apologised with its fans: “The last few days have shown us yet again the depth of feeling our supporters around the world have for this great club and the game we love.
“We needed no reminding of this but the response from supporters in recent days has given us time for further reflection and deep thought.
“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.”
Once they became aware of fans’ opinion, also Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea took a step back and withdrew from the project.
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli also backtracked. Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona, announced that no decision has been made until the club’s socios vote. Alteltico Madrid and Inter Milan were reportedly about to quit the project.