Sports

Super League future in the air, Atlético and Inter latest to back out

Madrid, Apr 21 (EFE).- Just three days after it was unveiled, the European Super League lies in tatters after the majority of its founding clubs withdrew from the elite project following a huge backlash from fans and football authorities.

Spain’s Atlético de Madrid and Italy’s Inter Milan became the latest clubs to quit the project on Wednesday, leaving behind Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan and Juventus after the Premier League’s so-called big six backed out on Tuesday.

“Atlético de Madrid took the decision on Monday to join the project due to circumstances that no longer exist today,” the club, which is currently top of LaLiga, said in a brief statement.

“For the club, harmony between all the groups that make up the Red & White family, especially our fans, is essential. The first team squad and the coach have expressed their satisfaction with the club’s decision, as they understand that sporting merits must prevail over any other criteria.”

The Premier League clubs that had signed up to the project dropped out one after the other on Tuesday night.

Chelsea’s announcement that they would no longer be taking part in the Super League, which came just after Manchester City became the first English team to quit, prompted celebrations from fans who had gathered at Stamford Bridge in London to protest against the lucrative arrangement.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur all followed suit.

Manchester United later announced that the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward would leave his role at the end of 2021. Club sources told UK media that the departure had been planned before the Super League controversy.

Liverpool owner John W Henry, who also owns the Boston Red Socks, issued a video apology to fans in the wake of the controversial bid to join the breakaway league while the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust demanded an explanation from the club’s board.

The United Kingdom’s government had firmly opposed the Super League and on Wednesday morning the culture secretary Oliver Dowden described the apparent collapse of the project “a real victory for fans.”

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