Super League future in the air, founding clubs drop out after fan backlash

(Update 1: Adds latest from AC Milan and Juventus, re-ledes, alters headline)

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.

Serie A club Juventus, regarded as one of the leading promoters of the league with Real Madrid, on Wednesday released a statement defending the “soundness of the project’s sport, commercial and legal premises” but acknowledged that it was unlikely to go ahead in its originally-conceived form due to the mass withdrawal of support by other clubs.

Fellow Italian side AC Milan also published a statement saying they were no longer committed to the Super League in its current form, although did not explicitly state that it was withdrawing from the process.

“We accepted the invitation to participate in the Super League project with the genuine intention to deliver the best possible European competition for football fans around the world and in the best interest of the club and our own fans,” the club said.

“However, the voices and the concerns of fans around the world have clearly been expressed about the Super League, and AC Milan must be sensitive to the voice of those who love this wonderful sport.”

Spain’s Atlético de Madrid and Italy’s Inter Milan announced they would quit earlier in the day, 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.

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