European Super League issues defiant statement despite 'Big Six' pulling out

European Super League officials have issued a defiant statement following the decision of the Premier League’s Big Six to pull out, insisting ‘football needs to change’.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all announced they were withdrawing from the controversial plans, amid a fierce backlash from across the football world.

The breakaway proposals appear to have been left in tatters, but now European Super League organisers have insisted they still want to see a new structure implemented – although they admitted they would now need to “reshape the project”.

The statement read: “The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change.

“We are proposing a new European competition because the existing system does not work.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham Hotspur all announced they will withdraw from plans for the European Super League
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham Hotspur all announced they will withdraw from plans for the European Super League

“Our proposal is aimed at allowing the sport to evolve while generating resources and stability for the full football pyramid, including helping to overcome the financial difficulties experienced by the entire football community as a result of the pandemic.

“It would also provide materially enhanced solidarity payments to all football stakeholders.

“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due to the pressure put on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations as was demonstrated today by a court decision to protect the Super League from third party actions.

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“Given the current circumstances, we shall reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project, always having in mind our goals of offering fans the best experience possible while enhancing solidarity payments for the entire football community.”

Chelsea fans protested outside Stamford Bridge over the European Super League
Chelsea fans protested outside Stamford Bridge over the European Super League

Shortly after the European Super League statement was issued, Chelsea announced they had “begun the formal procedures for withdrawal” from the controversial plans.

Chelsea’s statement read: “As reported earlier this evening, Chelsea Football Club can confirm that it has begun the formal procedures for withdrawal from the group developing plans for a European Super League.

“Having joined the group late last week, we have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the Club, our supporters or the wider football community.”

News had emerged earlier in the evening that Chelsea were set to pull out, as fans protested outside Stamford Bridge ahead of the club’s Premier League clash against Brighton.

European Super League announcement fallout

The West London side were the last of the Big Six to release an official statement, with the other five having confirmed their intentions throughout the course of Tuesday evening.

The remaining clubs in the Super League are Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona from Spain and Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus from Italy.

Inter Milan look likely to be the next to leave with the Italian news agency ANSA quoting a club source as saying “The Super League project in its current state is no longer considered of interest by Inter”.

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And reports from Spain have claimed that Atletico Madrid and Barcelona could also follow the Premier League clubs in walking away from the plans.

Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is to step down
Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is to step down

The decision of the Premier League clubs to leave the Super League came after widespread criticism from fans, pundits, politicians and governing bodies, while supporters protested outside stadiums.

Players also joined the condemnation, with stars from Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United speaking out against the plans.

The Big Six had faced the prospect of potential expulsion from the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League if they pressed ahead with plans to form a breakaway competition.

Manchester United announced on Tuesday night that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is set to quit his role at the end of 2021 – although club sources were keen to stress to Mirror Football that his decision was not down to the Super League and that he had been planning to stand down at the end of the year anyway.

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