The European Tremendous League collapses after the conviction

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Fans hold banners against Chelsea signing up for the newly proposed European Super League ahead of the Premier League game between Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge on April 20, 2021 in London, England .

Chloe Knott – Danehouse | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images

LONDON – Plans for a breakaway elite football league in Europe have already disintegrated after widespread criticism and even threats of government interference.

The European Super League, announced on Sunday, is designed to compete with the UEFA Champions League format, which is currently Europe’s best annual club competition.

Twelve of the richest teams in Europe signed up to be founding members of the new league, and JPMorgan backed them with $ 6 billion in debt funding.

However, the move sparked outrage from lawmakers, governing bodies, former players, fans, managers and experts, and many were concerned about the impact it would have on the structure of national competitions.

Many saw it as a cynical and highly controversial project as permanent members of the league could not be relegated.

Chelsea were the first club to signal Tuesday night that it was a jump ship. Fans protested the plans in front of the stadium in west London ahead of a Premier League match.

Manchester City quickly followed suit with official confirmation of their withdrawal, and a few hours later England’s other four clubs withdrew.

John Henry, the main owner of Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox, said in a video shared on Twitter Wednesday: “I would like to apologize to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I have over the past 48 years Years have caused hours “

Arsenal apologized in an open letter to their fans posted on the team’s website on Tuesday.

“The reaction of the supporters in the past few days has given us time for further reflection and reflection,” the letter said. “We never intended to cause problems like this, but when the invitation to join the Super League came we didn’t want to be left behind to make sure we were protecting Arsenal and their future.”

It continues: “As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over the past few days, we are pulling out of the proposed Super League. We made a mistake and we apologize for it.”

Spaniard Atletico Madrid and Italian Inter Milan left the league on Wednesday but four teams (Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus) are still eliminated.

However, Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said on Wednesday that the project cannot continue.

The shares of Juventus, one of the three Italian teams that would have been part of the new league, fell as much as 12% in trading on Wednesday morning.

“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs who are forced to make such decisions due to pressure, we are convinced that our proposal is fully in line with European laws and regulations,” the ESL said late Tuesday.

It added that it “believes that the current status quo of European football needs to change”.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin condemned the project and called it a “spit in the face” of all football fans. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to “thwart” it and likened it to a “cartel”.

The teams that initially agreed to play in the ESL included:

  • England: Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal.
  • Spain: Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
  • Italy: Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

On Monday evening, European Super League chairman Florentino Perez said plans to form the new runaway elite competition were designed to “save football”.

He defended himself against widespread criticism by claiming that changes were necessary because young people were “no longer interested in the sport”.

– CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this article.

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