TWO of the ‘big six’ British football clubs have withdrawn from the controversial new £6bn ‘European Super League’, the BBC has confirmed.
The proposal to create a new, money-focused breakaway competition has been strongly criticised by fans, governing bodies, and by the British government, with Boris Johnson openly condemning the plans and drafting measures to punish any team that ‘betrays its supporters’.
Chelsea and Manchester City were among six British teams that had announced they had signed-up to the new competition, receiving a fierce backlash from their fanbase and players.
Pressure began to mount after Uefa declared it would use “all measures” possible to stop what it describes as a “cynical project”, while Boris Johnson said the plans would be “very damaging for football” and that the UK government will support the sport’s authorities “in taking action”.
“The clubs involved must answer to their fans and the wider footballing community before taking any further steps” he added.
Chelsea had first hinted at withdrawing following the staunch criticism and potential penalties late yesterday evenings, holding emergency meetings that are understood to have gone late into the night.
The BBC have now confirmed that Chelsea have now decided to pull-out of the European Super League completely, with an announcement due shortly. Meanwhile, Manchester City have also been confirmed to have made the decision to withdraw, following government pressure and large protests held by angered fans outside their home ground.
The news comes just hours after Man City manager Pep Guardiola slammed the European Super League, saying that the format of the league was ‘not sport’.
After fierce opposition to the league, and the withdrawal of the two big clubs, commentators now claim that there is ‘serious doubt’ that the new football league will have any longevity, if it will even launch at all.