All six English Premier League football teams that wanted to join a European Super League have withdrawn from the new concept.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur were announced as participants in the new Super League on Sunday (April 18).
After a spate of criticism, the clubs withdrew one by one, reports PA.
Chelsea changed their mind on Tuesday (April 20th). Fans protested outside the club’s Stamford Bridge site ahead of the Premier League clash against Brighton.
There were banners criticizing the decision and smoke bombs were fired when police tried to control the crowd.
It is believed that the owner Roman Abramovich made the decision amid widespread condemnation of the concept.
Manchester City’s withdrawal came after manager Pep Guardiola publicly criticized the Super League concept, which would give “founding members” guaranteed entry earlier in the day each year.
Manchester United Vice Chairman Ed Woodward also resigned.
Liverpool released a brief statement shortly before 11pm announcing the club’s withdrawal: “Liverpool Football Club can confirm that our involvement in the proposed plans to form a European Super League has been suspended.
“In the past few days the club has received representations, both internally and externally, from a number of key stakeholders, and we would like to thank them for their valuable contributions.”
In a statement, Manchester United said: “Manchester United will not participate in the European Super League.
“We have followed closely the reactions of our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders.
“We continue to strive to work with others in the football community to find sustainable solutions to the long-term challenges the game is facing.”
Arsenal also announced the withdrawal from the European Super League shortly before 11 p.m.
The club tweeted: “Due to listening to you and the wider football community in recent days, we are pulling out of the proposed Super League.
“We made a mistake and we apologize for it.”
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said he regretted the “fear and excitement” caused when he confirmed that the club “has officially initiated procedures to withdraw from the group and make proposals for a European Super League (ESL ) to develop”.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee had confirmed earlier in the day that it would hold a hearing to investigate the implications of the Super League’s proposals.
Further reports suggested that Atletico Madrid and Barcelona were on the verge of withdrawing, while in Italy there were conflicting reports on whether or not Juventus president Andrea Agnelli had also resigned.
Manchester United Vice Chairman Ed Woodward stepped down after eight years at the helm. He is said to have played a key role in the development of the Super League.
It is anticipated that he will remain in his current position at United through the end of 2021
Liverpool, Chelsea, City, Arsenal and Tottenham from England had teamed up with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan – all apparently unhappy with the proposed changes in the Champions League – to create their own competition to accomplish.
The 14 previously not involved Premier League clubs met and rejected the idea of the Super League “unanimously and energetically”.
Meanwhile, a source involved in the Champions League format talks believes there needs to be a new discussion on the number of games after the big clubs pushed to 10 in the new group stage – something fan groups never do wanted to.
The changes were voted through on Monday, increasing the Champions League to 36 teams with 10 league games each.