The latest updates on the proposed European Super League, which looks close to collapse
Just 3 teams left in Super League | 14:00pm, 21st April 2021
Q: When is a Super League not a Super League?
A: When its only got 3 teams left in it.
As it stands Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid are the only teams who remain involved in the project with the Premier League teams pulling out last night and many others following as the day has gone on.
AC Milan were the latest team to signal their withdrawal with an official club statement which read:
“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.
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.”
That, apparently, means they no longer wish to be involved with the proposals.
What happens next? | 13:50, 21st April 2021
That’s just one of the questions that we try and answer on the latest Football Social Daily podcast.
Todays episode is OUT NOW and you can catch Jim Salveson, Ian Brannan and Matt Pidd discussing about the latest on the fast climbing Super League project, where we go from here and whether the “Big 6” Premier League teams deserve to be punished.
John W Henry apologises for Liverpool’s involvement with the Super League | 8am, 21st April 2021
“I want to apologise to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool football club for all the disruption I have caused.”
Liverpool’s owner John Henry has taken to the clubs social media to say sorry for the club agreeing to be part of the new European Super League. In the video below he says that the plans would have never gone ahead without supporters agreement. The reaction to this statement from said supporters has been, at best, mixed.
It’s all over! From a Premier League perspective anyway…
Perhaps the craziest 48 hours in European football history has now come to a head. 12 of Europe’s most profitable football clubs confirmed they were in allegiance to form a breakaway European Super League competition on Sunday, now just 2 days on the proposals look dead in the water.
The impact of the announcement was seismic in the English game in particular and the shockwaves are still being felt across the world of football. Now, the 6 Premier League sides involved in the project have withdrawn their interest, but you feel irreversible damage has been done in some cases.
Here we take a look at the latest developments in an ever-changing situation which has fractured the beautiful game.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright unimpressed | 11.22pm, 20th April 2021
Arsenal’s apology to their fans didn’t wash with Gunners legend Wrighty.
He’s made his thoughts on the club’s ownership pretty clear…
He dislikes them so much, he Tweeted this twice in a row.
Barcelona star Gerard Pique adds his voice to the conversation | 11.17pm, 20th April 2021
Barca defende Gerard Pique has been Tweeting about the European Super League carnage.
The former Manchester United defender posted on social media shortly after rumours began to surface that Barcelona are set to withdraw their interest as well.
The La Liga club are more than €1BILLION in debt – a staggering amount which more than likely explains their gluttony in signing up for these proposals.
Here’s what Pique said on social media.
Daniel Levy explains Tottenham position in Spurs statement | 11.09pm, 20th April 2021
He sacked Jose Mourinho on Monday, now he’s explaining in a Tottenham statement why Spurs are pulling out of the European Super League plans.
“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.
“We believe that we should never stand still and that the sport should constantly review competitions and governance to ensure the game we all love continues to evolve and excite fans around the world.”Spurs chairman Daniel Levy on the decision to back out of the European Super League
Arsenal apologise for European Super League involvement | 11.07pm, 20th April 2021
At last, we have an apology. Nothing from Chelsea, City, United or Liverpool – but the Gunners have said sorry to fans in their official statement.
Not that it makes things any better, but at least the Gunners have acknowledged what they call ” a mistake”.
Here is the line from the club.
This is what Arsenal said in an open letter to it’s supporters:
“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.”Arsenal Football Club’s open letter to fans after it’s European Super League withdrawal
Manchester United release statement | 11.04pm, 20th April 2021
Now it’s Manchester United who have released a statement confirming they “will not be participating in the European Super League.”
Same spiel as Liverpool, really.
Manchester United have been one of the ringleaders in all of this and the decision that Ed Woodward will be standing down from his executive role at Old Trafford broke earlier today also.
Liverpool ‘discontinue’ European Super League involvement | 11.02pm, 20th April 2021
The Merseyside Reds (as Leeds United’s social media referred to them as during Monday’s Premier League game) have issued a short statement.
Liverpool have received plenty of flak from their own supporters as well as those within the game for their involvement in this soon-to-be-failed project.
The statement on the club website is only a short one, containing all the usual lip service. It reads:
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.Liverpool FC statement regarding the European Super League
Premier League pack of cards comes tumbling down as remaining 4 European Super League sides withdraw | 11pm, 20th April 2021
Just as we thought! What a bunch of cowards. They tried to rip the heart out of the game and suck the soul out of competition. This whole fiasco has been an acid attack on the fans of the game who have already been urinated on from a significant height over the last 30 years.
Excuse my exasperation, but news has broken that Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all ended their European Super League involvement.
Statements from each club will follow shortly.
They couldn’t handle the heat, could they? Bottlejobs.
FA statement welcomes Chelsea and Manchester City’s decisions to pull plug on European Super League involvement | 10pm, 20th April 2021
The FA are by no means innocent in this cataclysm that football finds itself in this week, but nonetheless they seem to be pleased with Chelsea and City’s respective decisions to pull out of the European Super League.
Here is a statement from an FA spokesperson.
Manchester City release official statement confirming decision to back out of European Super League | 9.28pm, 20th April 2021
City have now confirmed via the medium of an official statement that they have pulled out of any potential European Super League.
The statement on Tuesday evening read very simply:
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.A short Manchester City statement on Tuesday evening
That’ll do for us. Happy days!
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson rallies behind opposition to breakaway competition | 9.06pm, 20th April 2021
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has made his feelings and those of his team-mates abundantly clear on Twitter.
The Reds’ skipper had earlier this afternoon called a meeting with the 19 other Premier League captains in response to the European Super League proposals.
Prime Minister praises Manchester City and Chelsea on European Super League withdrawal and asks for other Premier League clubs to follow suit | 8.59pm, 20th April 2021
Ol’ Boris has now waded back in to affairs!
After the Prime Minister’s spokesperson expressed Mr Johnson’s keenness to resist a European Super League plan earlier this afternoon, Britain’s leader has now spoken himself on the matter, namely Chelsea and Man City’s withdrawal from the proposals.
“The decision by Chelsea and Manchester City is – if confirmed – absolutely the right one and I commend them for it. I hope the other clubs involved in the European Super League will follow their lead.”British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the news Chelsea and Manchester City have backed out of a potential European Super League.
Ed Woodward resigns from his role at Manchester United | 8.10pm, 20th April 2021
Wow. Monumental news emerging now from a Manchester United perspective. Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward is set to resign from his post at the club.
Woodward has received plenty of criticism from United fans down the years and will leave Old Trafford at the end of the calendar year.
No doubt this announcement has been triggered by the furore surrounding the European Super League with Manchester United one of the driving forces behind these initial proposals, although initial reports claim that the split is amicable and unrelated to current developments.
There are rumours circulating on social media that United players Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw confronted Woodward over leaving the squad in the dark over the European Super League plans, but we must stress this is purely just speculation at this moment in time.
Woodward resigned from his role at UEFA yesterday and this feels like a significant development in English football, not just at Manchester United.
I do wonder what happens next.
Manchester City join Chelsea in European Super League exit | 7.11pm, 29th April 2021
You know what they say about London buses… you wait ages for one and then two come along at once!
Manchester City have now also decided they want no part of any European Super League.
Although yet to be officially confirmed by the club, multiple news sources suggest that City are out.
The club’s standpoint was arguably the most perplexing of all, seeing as they took UEFA to the cleaners last year regarding alleged FFP breaches and absolutely smoked them in court.
The narrative around those hearings was that City wanted to ensure that they weren’t shut out by the ‘elite’ moving forward. Fast forward a passage in time and those at the Etihad jumped on the bandwagon, much to bitter disappointment.
Reports suggest that City felt forced to get involved with the European Super League, but make of that what you will.
Regardless, a second Premier League side pulling the plug is another huge step towards the collapse of the proposals which now appear to be built on sand.
Chelsea fans jubilant at decision to withdraw | 7.08pm, 20th April 2021
The Chelsea fans outside Stamford Bridge have just discovered the news that their club will no longer be involved in a European Super League… and it’s fair to say they are pretty happy about it!
Chelsea pull out of European Super League | 7.06pm, 20th April 2021
Massive news. We have our first European Super League casualty!
Roman Abramovich has withdrawn Chelsea Football Club from the competition.
The Blues become the first Premier League club to pull out with Abramovich said to have taken fans’ frustrations on board.
Stamford Bridge chiefs were only thought to have signed up as a founder member of the Super League in order not to be left behind by the rogue breakaway.
But after resounding condemnation from across the political and sporting spectrum, Chelsea have now decided to pull out of the competition – less than 48 hours after it was announced.
Will this trigger a domino effect?
Chelsea legend Petr Cech pleads with protesting fans outside Stamford Bridge | 6.46pm, 20th April 2021
After a relatively quiet early evening in regards to European Super League news, it feels like it could be the calm before the storm.
A number of Chelsea supporters have congregated outside Stamford Bridge to protest at Chelsea’s involvement in a potential breakaway competition.
The angry fans have blocked the entrance to Stamford Bridge meaning the team coach has been unable to access the stadium, and so kick off for Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Brighton has been delayed.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, who now has an executive role at the club, has appeared at the gates of the ground pleading with supporters to let the coaches through, whilst also suggesting “things will be sorted out.”
Early suggestions are that Chelsea are wobbling on their European Super League position and owner Roman Abramovich may consider pulling the plug on the Blues’ involvement.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith ‘baffled’ by European Super League proposals | 4.07pm, 20th April 2021
The Villa boss has been speaking to the media ahead of his side’s Premier League clash on Wednesday and naturally questions on a breakaway competition were raised.
Smith has been a lifelong fan of Aston Villa and his comments on the situation quite nicely sum up how plenty of football fans feel, I think.
“I was born in 1971. At that time Aston Villa were a Third Division club and 11 years later I watched them lift the European Cup. That was the dream, they earned the right to do that by winning the league.”Aston Villa manager Dean Smith in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday
European Super League to be discussed in Parliament | 3.58pm, 20th April 2021
The possibility of a European Super League is now the subject of a parliamentary inquiry.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee confirmed it would hold an evidence session to examine the impact of the Super League proposals.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden have already commented on the unfolding situation and many are urging the British Government to step in.
German giants Bayern Munich confirm they will not be playing in any European Super League | 3.26pm, 20th April 2021
Of the 12 heavyweights of the European game who put forward these proposals, there were a couple of notable omissions. One of those sides was last season’s UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest clubs on the continent, many would have assumed that Bayern would have been involved in any European Super League discussions.
To the delight of many, though, the club has now taken a firm stance and have this afternoon made it “explicitly clear” that they will not be participating in any European Super League.
“ FC Bayern says no to the Super League.”FC Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer on the European Super League proposals
The German club also confirmed via chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a club statement: “On behalf of the board, I would like to make it explicitly clear that FC Bayern will not be taking part in the Super League.
“FC Bayern stands in solidarity with the Bundesliga. It always was and is a great pleasure for us to be able to play and represent Germany in the Champions League.
“We all remember fondly our 2020 Champions League victory in Lisbon – you don’t forget such a joyful moment. For FC Bayern, the Champions League is the best club competition in the world.”
Here’s a link to the full FC Bayern Munich statement.
Fair play. That feels like a significant moment from the German champions. Prost!
Amazon confirm they have not had discussion regarding broadcasting a European Super League | 3.18pm, 20th April 2021
With player-turned-presenter Gary Lineker claiming earlier on Tuesday afternoon that he will never work on European Super League, one of the newest players in the football broadcasting game have also said their piece.
Amazon Prime Video, who have muscled their way in on Sky and BT Sport’s Premier League offering in recent seasons, claim they’ve not been involved in any discussions regarding broadcast rights for a breakaway competition.
The tone of their statement also hinted at the fact they may be opposed to any European Super League idea in general. Take a look for yourself and see what you make of it.
Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers faces the media | 3.01pm, 20th April 2021
Speaking to the press for the first time since his side reached a first FA Cup final since 1969, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has inevitably been asked about a potential European Super League.
In 2016, the Foxes defied the odds (which were 5000/1) by perhaps pulling off the greatest achievement in British sporting history – winning the English Premier League.
That magical moment was only possible due to the nature of the footballing pyramid in this country. Only a matter of years before that, Leicester City were playing football in the third tier.
Any European Super League will do away with relegation, effectively ringfencing the elite and eliminating any risk of being punished for a below-par season on the field.
When asked about the possibility of a breakaway competition, Rodgers said: “There has been a line drawn in the sand with all of this. It has moved across from what looks very much like a purely business proposal. All the merits of teams and rewards in sport, it looks like from the outside that isn’t really taken into the ideas going forward.”
“We see the evolution of the game, teams who progress and develop and that’s the beauty of this league. The six teams who are there can never forget the brand of the Premier League is based around all the teams. The roots of their success are based around the other teams because of the competition, the bottom team can beat the top team.”Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers when quizzed about a European Super League in his Tuesday press conference.
Gary Lineker distances himself from European Super League media work | 2:47pm, 20th April 2021
There has been plenty of speculation on social media over whether broadcasters and the pundits who work for them will turn down any offers to be involved in any breakaway competition.
Perhaps one of football’s best known media personalities, BBC Match of the Day and BT Sport presenter Gary Lineker, has now claimed he will never work on any European Super League.
Lineker used to play for two of the 12 clubs involved in the proposals, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona, and he has already expressed his dismay at the current situation with those sides.
The former England striker is currently one of TV’s highest-paid names.
Premier League releases statement after lengthy meeting with 14 clubs | 2.35pm, 20th April 2021
We all know the power and influence the ‘big 6’ Premier League clubs of Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United hold when it comes to the game in this country.
However, those 6 sides, who have backed plans for a new European Super League, have been excluded from today’s emergency Premier League meeting.
The 14 ‘other’ top flight teams met for almost 3 hours on Tuesday afternoon and a statement released shortly after said the clubs “unanimously and vigorously rejected” plans for a Super League.
“The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people.”A Premier League statement issued on behalf of the 14 Premier League clubs who met on Tuesday
Marcus Rashford hints at European Super League disapproval on Twitter | 2.23pm, 20th April 2021
We haven’t heard too much in the way of responses from the players themselves when it comes to the possibility of a breakaway competition.
We did see Bruno Fernandes arguably make a coded comment regarding the possible changes on Instagram yesterday, and now Manchester United teammate Marcus Rashford has also taken to social media.
The England forward – who has even taken on the Government in the last 12 months over their free school meal policy – posted this on his Twitter account.
“Football is nothing without fans”, the famous quote from Sir Matt Busby, who guided United to European glory in 1968 a decade on from the Munich Air Disaster which is still evokes emotion from many involved in the club to this day.
Rashford grew up in Wythenshawe in South Manchester and is a product of the club’s famed academy, which is intrisically linked with the legacy of Sir Matt’s ‘Busby Babes’.
Is this little hint at Mr Rashford MBE’s thoughts, perhaps?
Pep Guardiola speaks for first time since European Super League proposals announced | 2.11pm, 20th April 2021
The Manchester City boss has not been afraid to speak out on controversial issues in the past in his press conferences. One of the more memorable times he faced journalists was around the time City had lodged a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in their legal battle with UEFA over FFP breaches.
Guardiola wasn’t as prickly this afternoon when taking questions about the European Super League, speaking before his side’s Premier League game with Aston Villa on Wednesday night. In fact, he even told the media to “ask whatever you want” and he will “answer how I feel.”
The City gaffer admitted he was uncomfortable regarding questions on a potential breakaway competition as “we don’t have all the information. Once we have all the information, I will give my opinion. It is a statement, and no more than that.”
Perhaps the most significant comment the Spaniard made was his retort when asked about the concept of a competition in which there is no promotion or relegation – something that would be the case in a European Super League. He said:
“It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed, it is not a sport where it doesn’t matter when you lose.”Pep Guardiola in his pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester City v Aston Villa when asked about the European Super League
Burnley the latest Premier League club to address ‘Big 6’ breakaway | 1.38pm, 20th April 2021
Following statements from both Everton and Brighton and Hove Albion, the Clarets have now joined their Premier League counterparts in showing their colours regarding a possible European Super League.
A lot of flak has been thrown the way of the American owners in charge of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, and interestingly Burnley were also taken over by American buyers earlier this season.
The face of that takeover was Alan Pace, and the Turf Moor chairman has penned an open letter ‘to fans and the English football community’.
“As a former financier, I understand the commercial considerations for these clubs and can appreciate their frustration at being the largest revenue drivers for the UEFA Champions League, without receiving the same levels of influence and reward.
“However, this is a move which does not treat fans or the game’s history with the respect it deserves and is not the solution.”Burnley Chairman Alan Pace in an open letter on the club’s official website
Pace also called upon the British Government to step in and introduce an “independent regulator to protect English football with legislation.”
Downing Street comment on European Super League proposals | 1pm, 20th April 2021
When Governments are beginning to get involved, you know that the magnitude of the situation is significant. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson briefly touched upon the plans for a breakaway league when quizzed in a brief interview whilst visiting the building site of a new housing estate yesterday.
This afternoon, an official spokesperson for the Prime Minister has said:
“I think we’re fairly unequivocally that we don’t want this to go ahead in the current form, so we would welcome any club that wants to step back from this approach but I think, as far as I’m aware, that’s speculation at this stage. “We are keen to speak to everyone involved in this, from other countries to the Premier League and others.”Spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Downing Street also did not rule out speaking to ministers in Spain and Italy to co-ordinate efforts to prevent the league going ahead as planned.
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust also confirmed on their Twitter feed that they had met with the Prime Minister to register their concerns over the possibility of a European Super League.
MUST today met with the Prime Minister @BorisJohnson and Secretary of State @OliverDowden— M.U.S.T (@MU_ST) April 20, 2021
We told them football has never been so united and decisive action is needed to halt the Superleague proposals.