European Super League Crashes As More Clubs Withdraw
The European Super League can no longer proceed, Juventus boss Andrea Agnelli confirmed on Wednesday, as Spain’s Atletico Madrid and Italy’s Inter Milan followed the footsteps of the six English teams involved by abandoning the breakaway competition after intense criticism.
Twelve of Europe’s leading soccer clubs from England, Italy and Spain announced a breakaway league on Sunday, but after 48 hours of massive pressure from fans, politicians and even British royals the six English clubs backed out on Tuesday.
Agnelli said he still believed in the merits of the Super League despite the overwhelming criticism and had no regrets about how the breakaway had been conducted.
“I remain convinced of the beauty of that project,” Agnelli told reporters, saying it would have been the best competition in the world. “But admittedly … I mean, I don’t think that that project is now still up and running.”
Atletico Madrid joined Inter Milan on Wednesday in pulling out of the project.
📢 | STATEMENT
Official Club Statement ⤵️#FCIM
— Inter (@Inter_en) April 21, 2021
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) April 21, 2021
A source close to Inter Milan had earlier confirmed they were no longer interested in the project “in light of the latest developments”.
The founding members of the league were English clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, Italy’s Juventus, Inter and AC Milan, and Spain’s Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Agnelli’s Juventus, AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the four clubs yet to announce their withdrawal but that position is expected to change within hours.
Liverpool’s principal owner John Henry apologised in a video on the club’s website and social media on Wednesday.
“It goes without saying but should be said that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans,” he said.
“I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity brought forward over the past couple of days. It’s something I won’t forget. And shows the power the fans have today and will rightly continue to have.”
John W Henry’s message to Liverpool supporters. pic.twitter.com/pHW3RbOcKu
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 21, 2021
Having triggered an enormous backlash from players, fans and football authorities, the Super League had said late on Tuesday it would reconsider and look to “reshape” the project, while stopping short of throwing in the towel.