All six Premier League clubs begin withdrawal process to leave European Super League

All six Premier League clubs begin withdrawal process to leave European Super League
Just 48 hours after its inception, the breakaway league has collapsed (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham have joined Manchester City and Chelsea in beginning the withdrawal process to leave the controversial European Super League.

Just 48 hours after the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’ announced they would be forming a breakaway competition along with six clubs from Spain and Italy, the proposal is already on the verge of collapse.

Fans, players, politicians and governing bodies were all united in their condemnation and resistance to the plans for a ‘closed-shop’ Super League, with none of the founding members able to be relegated and just five ‘open’ slots for other clubs.

Fans protesting the establishment of the breakaway European Super League demonstrate outside Stamford Bridge stadium, home of Chelsea Football Club
Fans showed up at Stamford Bridge to show their opposition to the Super League (Picture: Getty)

And now the plans are in tatters, with all six Premier League clubs confirming they would begin the withdrawal process to leave, with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid expected to follow suit.

Chelsea kickstarted the backtracking, with reports emerging shortly before kick-off in Tuesday night’s goalless draw against Brighton that they would be leaving the Super League, and Manchester City followed with official confirmation shortly afterwards.

Now the remaining four Premier League sides – Arsenal, Liverpool, United and Spurs – have also released statements confirming they would be extracting themselves from their Super League contracts.

A statement from United read: ‘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.’

Liverpool’s statement was similarly brief, reading: ‘Liverpool Football Club can confirm that our involvement in proposed plans to form a European Super League has been discontinued.

‘In recent days, the club has received representations from various key stakeholders, both internally and externally, and we would like to thank them for their valuable contributions.’

Fans celebrate Chelsea's rumoured withdrawal from European Super League

While there were no names attached to either Liverpool or United’s statement – who confirmed earlier in the day that Ed Woodward would be leaving his role as chairman – Spurs chief Daniel Levy did front up to Tottenham’s decision and tried to explain the club’s thinking.

He said: ‘We regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal. 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.’

A Tottenham Hotspur's fan holds an anti-European Super League placard has he demonstrates outside the English Premier League football club's training ground in north London
Fans from all clubs were united in their contempt for the Super League (Picture: AP)

North London rivals Arsenal also posted a lengthy comment on their decision to withdraw from the Super League, apologising to fans for their decision but, like Spurs, stressing a need for measures and reforms to be put in place.

‘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,’ read a statement from the Arsenal board.

‘It was never our intention to cause such distress, however when the invitation to join the Super League came, while knowing there were no guarantees, we did not want to be left behind to ensure we protected Arsenal and its future.

Arsenal Super League protest, Emirates stadium, London
Arsenal’s fans descended on the Emirates to vent their fury (Picture: Getty)

‘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.

‘We know it will take time to restore your faith in what we are trying to achieve here at Arsenal but let us be clear that the decision to be part of the Super League was driven by our desire to protect Arsenal, the club you love, and to support the game you love through greater solidarity and financial stability.

‘Stability is essential for the game to prosper and we will continue to strive to bring the security the game needs to move forward. The system needs to be fixed. We must work together to find solutions which protect the future of the game and harness the extraordinary power football has to get us on the edge of our seats.

All six Premier League clubs begin withdrawal process to leave European Super League
The backtrack represents a massive victory for fans of football across Europe (Picture: Getty)

‘Finally, we know this has been hugely unsettling at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all. Our aim is always to make the right decisions for this great football club, to protect it for the future and to take us forward. We didn’t make the right decision here, which we fully accept. We have heard you.’

With the Premier League’s biggest clubs no longer involved in the Super League, there appears to be no future for the short-lived competition, though there could still be more twists and turns with Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez likely to try and cling onto his brainchild.

MORE : Gary Neville ‘hopes Manchester United have to pay £100m fine to Florentino Perez’ to leave European Super League

MORE : Ed Woodward releases statement on Manchester United resignation but ignores Super League controversy

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