Super League on the verge of collapse as English clubs drop project after backlash
The Super League collapsed before a ball was kicked in the European breakaway competition after it was abandoned by all six English football clubs, leaving the Spanish and Italian participants stranded.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham have dropped plans for a largely closed midweek competition amid a growing backlash from their supporters and government warnings that legislation could be introduced to thwart them.
The Super League draft was overseen by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who has also signed Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in Spain, as well as Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan from Italy. The UEFA-led Champions League rival has become impossible without the six clubs in the richest league in the world.
The remaining fledgling Super League organization was defiant, accusing the ‘pressure’ of being applied to force English clubs and insisting the proposal was in accordance with the law and could still be revived in one form or another .
“Given the current circumstances, we will reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project, always keeping in mind our goals to provide supporters with the best possible experience while improving solidarity payments for the entire community. football community, ”the Super League said in a statement.
English clubs have responded to calls from UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin to stay in the existing Champions League.
“I said yesterday that it was admirable to admit a mistake and that these clubs made a big mistake,” he said. “But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not only to our competitions but to the whole European game.
“The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity the game enjoyed before that, and move forward together.”
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As it became clear that Chelsea and City were leaving the Super League on Tuesday night, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and his teammates issued a message urging to stay in open European competitions.
Liverpool, which is part of the Boston Red Sox investment group, finally released a statement thanking people inside and outside the club for their “valuable contributions” before making the decision to stay in the existing structures. .
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw also took issue with his club, tweeting his support for the existing Champions League just minutes before his club’s U-turn.
“We have listened intently to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders,” said the American-owned Glazer family club listed on the New York Stock Exchange. “We remain committed to working with other members of the football community to find lasting solutions to the long-term challenges facing football.”
Just as the Glazers also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Stan Kroenke has the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL in his portfolio with Arsenal. It was the closed models of American sports that were deemed so attractive to American owners by providing financial certainty.
But they were resisted by fans of English clubs.
“We never intended to cause such distress, but when the invitation to join the Super League came in, knowing there was no guarantee, we didn’t want to be left behind to ensure the protection of Arsenal and its future, “Arsenal said. in a report.
“As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over the past few days, we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake and we apologize for it.”
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Tottenham also explained in detail why he signed up before retreating.
“We regret the anxiety and upheaval caused by ESL’s proposal,” said Chairman Daniel Levy. “We felt it was important for our club to participate in the development of a possible new structure that seeks to better ensure financial fair play and financial sustainability while providing significantly increased support to the wider football pyramid . “
The Premier League threatened to sanction the six rebel clubs and Prime Minister Boris Johnson considered introducing laws to prevent them from forming a new European competition he called a “cartel”.
Divisions within Super League clubs have also grown, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola saying the Super League will damage the integrity and values of the sport. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has also expressed concerns over the actions of his club owners.
The Premier League had threatened all six Super League clubs with expulsion if they tried to go it alone in Europe. The other 14 clubs met on Tuesday and “unanimously and vigorously” rejected the Super League’s plans, which overshadowed Johnson’s press conference on the pandemic.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the disconnected owners “had completely misjudged the strength of sentiment among fans, players and the whole country.”
50 plus 1 rule
The government is considering adopting Germany’s 50 plus 1 rule which gives fans the majority of voting rights, nominally to prevent clubs from being controlled by private investors.
“Our fan-driven review will continue and I remain convinced of the need for reform,” said Dowden. “We have to make sure this never happens again.”
Everton have denounced the “absurd arrogance” of Super League clubs. Everton’s nine titles are the fourth most won by a team in English Premier League history, and the Merseyside club were considered to be among the country’s elite in the 1980s and early 1980s. 1990.
“The backlash is understandable and deserved – and must be listened to,” Everton’s board said in a statement. “This absurd arrogance is not wanted anywhere in football outside of the clubs that drafted this plan.”
Italian clubs declined to comment earlier, and Spanish teams did not comment on Tuesday night.