European Super League: Premier League teams withdraw from the competition
Premier League teams involved in the European Super League (ESL) have now withdrawn from the competition.
Manchester City was the first club to pull out after Chelsea had signalled their intent to do so by preparing documentation to withdraw. The other sides clubs – Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – have all now followed suit.
The 12-team Super League, which includes the seven teams listed above as well as Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid from Spain, and AC Milan and Juventus from Italy, was unveiled on Sunday to widespread criticism.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were the English clubs involved, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the Spanish teams and the Italian sides are AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. The teams have 99 European titles between them.
Three more teams are expected to join as founding clubs, which are guaranteed participation each year, with another five qualifyings annually, making it a 20-team competition. Games will be mid-week, ruling teams out of the Champions League but leaving them free for domestic fixtures.
The first version was set to take place “as soon as practicable,” according to the announcement.
It will begin in August, with two groups of ten facing each other at home and away, with the top three qualifying for the quarter-finals.
For the remaining quarter-final slots, the fourth and fifth-placed teams will compete. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be split into two legs, while the final will be contested in one game at a neutral site.
A women’s edition is also in the development.
There was widespread and immediate criticism. Uefa, the governing body of European football, and football authorities in England, Spain, and Italy released a joint statement threatening to bar competing clubs from “all other domestic, European, or global competition.”
These clubs have now issued a statement on their withdrawal
It was never our intention to cause such distress, however when the invitation to join the Super League came, while knowing there were no guarantees, we did not want to be left behind to ensure we protected Arsenal and its future.
As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake, and we apologise for it.
Having joined the group late last week, we have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the club, our supporters or the wider football community.
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.
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.
We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders.
We regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal. We felt it was important that our club participated in the development of a possible new structure that sought to better ensure financial fair play and financial sustainability whilst delivering significantly increased support for the wider football pyramid.
Atlético de Madrid’s Board of Directors, which met on Wednesday morning, has decided to formally communicate to the Super League and the rest of the founding clubs its decision not to finally formalise its adhesion to the project.
Atlético de Madrid took the decision on Monday to join the project due to circumstances that no longer exist today.
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.
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. Change is not always easy, but evolution is necessary for progress, and the structures of European football have evolved and changed over the decades.
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.
We will continue to work hard to deliver a sustainable model for football.
FC Internazionale Milano confirm that the Club is no longer part of the Super League project.
We are always committed to giving fans the best football experience; innovation and inclusion are part of our DNA since our foundation. Our engagement with all stakeholders to improve the football industry will never change.
Inter believes that football, like every sector of activity, must have an interest in constantly improving its competitions, to keep on exciting fans of all ages around the world, within a framework of financial sustainability.
With this vision we look forward to carry on working together with institutions and all stakeholders for the future of the sport we all love.
With reference to the press release published by Juventus Football Club S.p.A. on 19 April 2021, relating to the proposed creation of the Super League, and the ensuing public debate, the issuer clarifies to be aware of the request and intentions otherwise expressed by certain clubs to withdraw from this project, although the necessary procedures envisaged by the agreement among the clubs have not been completed.
In this context, while Juventus remains convinced of the soundness of the project’s sport, commercial and legal premises, it believes that at present there are limited chances that the project be completed in the form originally conceived.
Juventus remains committed to pursuing the creation of long-term value for the Company and the entire football industry.