Premier League clubs abandon European Super League

London, Apr 20 (EFE).- London, Apr 20 (EFE).- All six of the Premier League clubs set to form part of the proposed European Super League said Tuesday that they were withdrawing from the project.

The first to make it official was Manchester City, though their announcement came after Chelsea management made it known that the Blues were not going forward with the Super League initiative.

“Manchester City Football Club can confirm that it has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League,” the club said.

In the space of a few hours Tuesday night, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur did likewise, essentially writing the epitaph of a plan that was formally launched just 48 hours earlier.

The plan for the Super League envisioned 15 permanent members and five rotating slots to be filled through qualifiers, but only 12 clubs were named in Sunday’s presentation.

Several other top European sides, including Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, rejected invitations to join.

Though the six remaining clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan – have yet to react publicly to the news from England, it is hard to see how the Super League can get off the ground with so few teams.

“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.”

Man United used similar language to announce their abandonment of the Super League.

“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 can confirm that we have formally commenced procedures to withdraw from the group developing proposals for a European Super League (ESL),” Tottenham said in a statement.

Arsenal management apologized for their initial commitment to the ESL, calling it a “mistake,” and said that they resolved to pull out after listening to supporters and the “wider football community.”

The Premier League, The Football Association (FA) and the 14 top-division English clubs not involved in plans for the hypothetical ESL said earlier Tuesday that they would consider “all options” to prevent the proposed elite league from going ahead.

The announcement of the new competition late Sunday night also sparked an immediate backlash from English pundits and fans, with critics slamming the initiative as purely financially driven and one that would be damaging to the sport at its grassroots level.

Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp and Man City’s Pep Guardiola both criticized the ESL proposal, as did a number of players.

FIFA and its six continental confederations, including UEFA, all spoke out strongly against the initiative.

FIFA sought to nip the idea in the bud in January when it warned that any club or player involved in a proposed super league would be barred from international competitions, including World Cup tournaments and UEFA European Football Championships (Euros). EFE msg-gx/jt-mc-dr

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