European Super League Collapses As Clubs Withdraw
The three Italian clubs involved — Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan — admitted defeat and La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid also pulled out.
On Sunday, April 18 six English clubs — (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur) alongside three teams from Italy (AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Juventus) and three from Spain ( Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid) disclosed their plans to form a controversial breakaway is competition, which they referred to in the announcement as the Super League.
One of the reasons for the breakaway was because the top clubs feel cheated by the current champions league format which does not give them enough financial protection.
The top clubs in Premier League claim they earn the same amount of television rights money as the likes of Burnley, West Ham, West Brom deemed as small club, when they believe fans from all over the world will rather watch a Manchester United vs Chelsea than a West Brom vs Burnley.
However, just 48 hours after the announcement, all six English clubs released statements announcing their intention to step away from the competition after receiving heavy backlash from fans and footballers.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham throughout Tuesday evening deserted the proposal to launch a largely-closed midweek competition amid an escalating backlash from their football lovers, some players and warnings from British government.
Real Madrid and Barcelona — the last of the initial group of 12 clubs to sign up — have yet to make any comment but the project in its current form is dead in the water.
Meanwhile, Super League project, overseen by Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, has responded, confirming that it will suspend the project while maintaining that ‘football needs to change.’
A statement released late Tuesday partly reads;
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.
It would also provide materially enhanced solidarity payments to all football stakeholders.
Super League also claimed that the withdrawal of the clubs was due to ‘pressure‘ applied over the past 48 hours.
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 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.
In wooing the founding clubs, Super League promised guaranteed entry for its members and billions of dollars in payments. Most of the clubs have huge debts and wage bills, and suffered a sharp drop in revenues during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the project was vehemently opposed across the football spectrum, from fans to players, coaches, politicians and UEFA and FIFA, the European and world football bodies.
The clubs were threatened with a ban from domestic and European football, while their players could even have been barred from representing their countries.