European Super League falls apart, Agneli confirms

Super League chairman Andrea Agnelli has admitted that the competition cannot go ahead after the withdrawal of all six Premier League clubs involved in the breakaway.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham have all pulled out of the plans for the new European tournament amid intense pressure from fans, players and pundits across the footballing community.

Inter and Atletico Madrid have subsequently pulled out, but AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona are still on board as it stands, along with Juventus, but the Italian champions’ club president now expects the Super League to disband completely.

Pressed on whether the formation of the competition could still happen after the exits, Agnelli, who founded the breakaway proposal, told Reuters on Wednesday: “To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case.

“I remain convinced of the beauty of that project. But admittedly … I mean, I don’t think that that project is now still up and running.”

Agnelli was also asked if he has any regrets over the way the Super League formation was conducted, to which he responded: “If you tell me other methods for putting together such projects … if you were to ask the authorisation of others, I don’t think you would have carried out a project like this.

“The relations are there, I have seen relations changing in time, some people I am quite sure that people will be open and talk to each other.

“I don’t think our industry is a particularly sincere, trustworthy or reliable one in general.”

After seeing six of the original 12 founding clubs drop out, the Super League released a statement promising to reconfigure its plans and continue pushing for change amid the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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

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

“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 by a court decision to protect the Super League from third party actions.

“Given 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.”

However, UEFA made it clear it was against the formation of a new competition to rival its current Champions League structure right from the beginning, with the organisation’s president Aleksander Ceferin vowing to impose severe sanctions on the clubs and players involved .

Ceferin released another statement after receiving confirmation of the withdrawal of all six English teams that had signed up, welcoming them back with open arms while outlining his desire to put the whole episode in the past.

“I said yesterday that it is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake,” said Ceferin. “But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not just to our competitions but to the whole of the European game.

“The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this and move forward together.”


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