Compiled By Markson Omagor
Plans for a European Super League have officially been suspended after all six Premier League clubs announced their intention to withdraw from the controversial £4.6bn scheme.
On Sunday night, 12 European clubs pledged their support for the controversial breakaway competition that threatened to drastically change the football landscape in England and across the continent.
Six clubs from England – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal – had agreed to join the league, while three teams from Spain and Italy apiece – Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan – made up the remaining six places.
However, just 48 hours after the monumental announcement did the European Super League begin to unravel, with England’s participating clubs each releasing statements announcing their intention to step away from the competition.
Now, the Super League has responded, confirming that it will suspend the project while maintaining that the existing football climate is unsustainable.
‘The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change,’ read Tuesday’s statement.
‘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.’
he Super League also commented on events that unfolded in England, acknowledging that the withdrawal of the six 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.’
Tuesday night’s developments have stirred concerns among the remaining six clubs in the Super League, with Tariq Panja of the New York Times reporting that Inter are getting cold feet over the proposal.
Contrary to reports, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli is not standing down from his role, after Manchester United announced that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will leave at the end of 2021.
The Big Six’s withdrawal presents a devastating blow to Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president who had spearheaded the Super League concept alongside Stan Kroenke, John W Henry and Joel Glazer of Arsenal, Liverpool and United respectively.
Perez, 74, had insisted that the new league would ‘save’ football, having cast grave doubts over the game’s sustainability. He had claimed that football would be ‘dead’ by 2024 and argued that young people would be in favour of shorter games.
There had been hopes that a further three ‘Founding Members’ of the Super League would be added to the initial 12, although Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and PSG had rejected their invitations to join the league.