European Super League: Controversial plans in tatters as Manchester City are first club to officially withdraw

Dan Kilpatrick
·2-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

The European Super League was on Tuesday night crumbling after Chelsea and Manchester City sparked chaos by becoming the first clubs to break ranks and withdraw from the competition which has united supporters, players, clubs, governments and even royalty in furious opposition.

After a slew of condemnations, the English pair began preparing paperwork to withdraw from the competition less than 48 hours after they were among 12 major European clubs to rock the game to its foundations by announcing their plans on Sunday night.

City became the first club to officially announce their plans to withdraw in a statement that read: “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.”

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin welcomed the withdrawal of Manchester City.

He said: “I am delighted to welcome 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; from the world beating Champions League final right down to a young player’s first coaching session at a grassroots club.

“As I said at the UEFA Congress, it takes courage to admit a mistake but I have never doubted that they had the ability and common sense to make that decision.

“City are a real asset for the game and I am delighted to be working with them for a better future for the European game.”

Manchester United's executive chairman Ed Woodward will step down after the fierce backlash to the proposals, which included promises from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to enact legislation to block the clubs' plans.

Reports in Spain suggested Atletico Madrid and Barcelona were close to following suit and withdrawing, with the football world waiting anxious for news of the reaction of Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Internazionale and Juventus.

Chelsea's decision to withdraw came after fans gathered in protest outside Stamford Bridge ahead of their Premier League match against Brighton on Tuesday evening.

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