Skip to main content

Premier League Clubs Begin Exodus From Proposed Super League

On Sunday evening, the announcement of a European Super League shook the world of soccer to its core, sparking protests and outrage from fans, players and pundits, alike. 

By Tuesday night, the Super League appeared to be nothing more than a fever dream after Premier League clubs Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool all announced their withdrawal from the proposed European Super League

Manchester City was the first club make an official announcement and, within hours, the five other clubs followed suit. 

"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," the club said in a statement. 

The withdrawal of the Premier League clubs likely inflicts a final blow to the nascent Super League with only six members remaining for the time being, and those remaining clubs issued a statement in light of Tuesday’s events.

“We regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal," Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement. "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."

Shortly after Chelsea was reported to be the first club to prepare its withdrawal, Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward resigned from his role as the club's executive vice chairman, effective at the end of the year, though the club did not connect the decision to the Super League.

In a statement to the Associated Press earlier on Tuesday, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said he was "delighted to welcome Manchester City back to the European football family."

"They have shown great intelligence in listening to the many voices—most notably their fans—that have spelled out the vital benefits that the current system has for the whole of European football," Čeferin said. 

"It takes courage to admit a mistake, but I have never doubted that they had the ability and common sense to make that decision."

Fans protested outside of Stamford Bridge on Tuesday before Chelsea's Premier League home match against Brighton. The Guardian reported earlier on Tuesday that Chelsea, along with Manchester City, were some of the last clubs to join the Super League, reluctantly joining out of fear that they would miss out on potential revenue streams. 

The backlash to the Super League has continued to snowball after Sunday's announcement that 12 of the biggest clubs in England, Spain and Italy pledged to join an exclusive competition that would have sidestepped the UEFA Champions League. 

The original clubs included Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur from England; Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid from Spain; and Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan from Italy. While opening five spots for yearly qualification, the Super League also announced its intentions to add three more founding members.

UEFA has previously threatened to ban players and clubs from forthcoming competitions, which includes Champions League, Europa League and, on an international level, this summer's European championships. 

More Super League coverage: