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European Super League: Manchester City withdraw and Chelsea prepare to follow

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Chelsea fans protest against the European Super LeagueChelsea's intentions to league the European Super League game as fans protested their involvement outside the Stamford Bridge

Manchester City have withdrawn from the European Super League (ESL) and Chelsea are also preparing to do so.

Efforts to leave come just two days after both were announced as two of six English clubs to sign up to the controversial new competition.

The ESL has been widely criticised since being announced on Sunday.

Around 1,000 fans gathered outside Chelsea's Stamford Bridge home ground before their game against Brighton on Tuesday to protest their involvement.

Chelsea and City were part of English football's 'big six' clubs – alongside Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – to have agreed to join the new league.

In total, 12 European clubs announced their intentions to form the breakaway league, which they hoped to establish as a new midweek competition.

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It was condemned by football authorities and government ministers in the UK and across Europe by Uefa and leagues associations.

Chelsea were the first club to indicate they will not press ahead by preparing documentation to withdraw. City withdrew soon after.

Chelsea and City were not drivers of this plan, they were the last to sign and feared being left behind.

It is not clear how easy it is or how binding the contracts are.

The decision to try and have Chelsea leave was taken by owner Roman Abramovich and the club's board board after witnessing negative global reaction to the Super League.

There was a fear that it could do reputational damage to the club and undermine some of its campaigning and community work.

Questions were raised internally as to whether fans would respond to the club if it continued with a proposal which has gone down so badly.

The decision was made earlier on Tuesday before protests started outside Stamford Bridge.

Earlier in the day, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with the Football Association, Premier League officials and fans' representatives, after which the government said it will take "whatever action necessary", including legislative options, to ensure the proposals were stopped.

Johnson's stance is supported by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

A statement released after a meeting between the Premier League and the 14 clubs not involved said they "unanimously and vigorously" rejected plans for the competition.

It added that it is considering "all actions available" to stop the competition and asked the six teams to end their involvement immediately.

While English involvement has quickly been reconsidered, there has been no indication from the the other six clubs from Spain and Italy – which includes Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan – that they are are considering doing the same.

Real president Florentino Perez, who has was named as the ESL's chairman, said the competition was set up "to save football" because young people are "no longer interested" in the game because of "a lot of poor quality games".

AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the ESL would be "a new, exciting chapter for the game" and that it will "provide value and support" across European football.

Meanwhile, Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo came out in support of the ESL and the club's owner Andrea Agnelli, who quit as European Club Association (ECA) chairman after signing the Turin club up to the new competition.

"He explained this project to us, he gave us great confidence, but the most important thing he told us is that we have to continue with our work," Pirlo said.

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Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 Live

I'm not even mildly surprised – it didn't look like Chelsea wanted to get on that train but they didn't want to be left at the station.

I don't think these clubs were prepared for anything. This seems like utter panic from a set of clubs. I think this is the first break that falls and then we are back into something like normality.

Chelsea wanted to move stadium a few years ago, fans weren't having it. The club, instead of pushing it through, said "we were wrong". They can change, they can adapt.

It's gone now, dead in the water. It is that big because the other clubs would look a bit silly without them now.

More to follow.

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2774 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost RepliedM

Comment posted by Mal Teser, today at 19:11Mal Teser

19:11Brilliant news well done Chelsea! Now the other five do the right thing and follow suit…818110A

Reply posted by andrew, today at 19:14andrew

19:14to Mal Teser"Brilliant news well done Chelsea! Now the other five do the right thing and follow suit…"andrew replied: Well done, you being serious ?400254More replies (125)downJ

Comment posted by James, today at 19:11James

19:11A Florentino Perez “masterclass” crumbles in 2 days 😂😂😂57113K

Reply posted by kevirl, today at 19:18kevirl

19:18to James"A Florentino Perez “masterclass” crumbles in 2 days 😂😂😂"kevirl replied: Madrid should be wound up, the most corrupt entity in sports history let alone football.55812More replies (43)downW

Comment posted by WildyOAFC, today at 19:12WildyOAFC

19:12As will they all now. The owners are still culpable though. Let no one forget that.55511C

Reply posted by countryboy, today at 19:13countryboy

19:13to WildyOAFC"As will they all now. The owners are still culpable though. Let no one forget that."countryboy replied: Totally agree its still in their grubby little heads2286More replies (21)downG

Comment posted by Grb, today at 19:12Grb

19:12Lasted about as long as one of their managers51212B

Reply posted by bobby smith, today at 19:13bobby smith

19:13to Grb"Lasted about as long as one of their managers"bobby smith replied: Hhahahahaha768More replies (7)downN

Comment posted by nelch, today at 19:13nelch

19:13Don’t let this be the end of it, push for reform and a fan ownership model like in Germany, so they can never try this crap again.4045B

Reply posted by Broggy, today at 19:32Broggy

19:32to nelch"Don’t let this be the end of it, push for reform and a fan ownership model like in Germany, so they can never try this crap again."Broggy replied: This has always been in the cards since foreign owners first came in with their money. You’re right it’s going to take some tough legislation to get them out again. We need legislation to get the likes of Woodward out and the other poisonous influences such as agents at the same time while we are at it. Football authorities have been and incompetent themselves, it will take government action now!1231More replies (17)downB

Comment posted by Brass Eye, today at 19:11Brass Eye

19:11Give it 24 hours and the whole thing will have collapsed by then, good.35210G

Reply posted by Getcher Andsoff, today at 19:25Getcher Andsoff

19:25to Brass Eye"Give it 24 hours and the whole thing will have collapsed by then, good."Getcher Andsoff replied: Clubs need to grow a set and not cave in to a little bit of criticism from a few loudmouth ‘so called fans’.69447More replies (37)downC

Comment posted by cyrilswan, today at 19:11cyrilswan

19:11Withdrawing can only be a good thing, but this will tarnish their reputation for years to come.32243G

Reply posted by grey, today at 19:12grey

19:12to cyrilswan"Withdrawing can only be a good thing, but this will tarnish their reputation for years to come."grey replied: The OWNERS reputation.37810More replies (24)downT

Comment posted by thejeffrey , today at 19:12thejeffrey

19:12Get in Chelsea, you shouldn’t have signed up. But atleast this shows a modicum of respect for fans wishes. Only wish my club (Liverpool) will now follow suit with the rest.28512S

Reply posted by SilverFoxxx, today at 19:21SilverFoxxx

19:21to thejeffrey "Get in Chelsea, you shouldn’t have signed up. But atleast this shows a modicum of respect for fans wishes. Only wish my club (Liverpool) will now follow suit with the rest."SilverFoxxx replied: Their odious owners should sell up and pee-off back to no-relegation land.1123More replies (14)downB

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Comment posted by Broggy, today at 19:13Broggy

19:13The calibre of owners is so poor that it takes a Russian Oligarch to be the first to see common sense…2559D

Reply posted by Don Leshone, today at 19:24Don Leshone

19:24to Broggy"The calibre of owners is so poor that it takes a Russian Oligarch to be the first to see common sense…"Don Leshone replied: I’m sure I remember the papers saying Abramovich bought Chelsea as a taxable loss, many years ago!235More replies (14)downT

Comment posted by TheTroll, today at 19:10TheTroll

19:10Good riddance, more teams to follow suit!!1868F

Reply posted by fletch, today at 19:13fletch

19:13to TheTroll"Good riddance, more teams to follow suit!!"fletch replied: It was never going to happen. Lets hope they all follow Chelseas lead.10211More replies (15)downV

Comment posted by Vhsgaz, today at 19:12Vhsgaz

19:12If it’s true, it shows that the owners had not expected the level of backlash.1785M

Reply posted by malcolm, today at 19:28malcolm

19:28to Vhsgaz"If it’s true, it shows that the owners had not expected the level of backlash."malcolm replied: They must operate in a vacuum if they are surprised by the reaction851More replies (14)downM

Comment posted by Martin, today at 19:16Martin

19:16As someone who doesn’t support a team but loves sport The Champions League has lost it’s way!
What the Champions league needs to be, in my opinion, is a knockout tournament with only Champions of their respective leagues participating!
With an open draw like the FA Cup. That will then provide excitement and upsets making it good to watch. The ESL is not the answer to attract people like me!1554I

Reply posted by Info Addict, today at 19:23Info Addict

19:23to Martin"As someone who doesn’t support a team but loves sport The Champions League has lost it’s way! What the Champions league needs to be, in my opinion, is a knockout tournament with only Champions of their respective leagues participating!With an open draw like the FA Cup. That will then provide excitement and upsets making it good to watch. The ESL is not the answer to attract people like me!"Info Addict replied: They should consolidate the CL and EL and make it a 64 team knockout competition. 2 legs, and the single final.4011More replies (23)downW

Comment posted by wemarchon, today at 19:11wemarchon

19:11Well done Chelsea. 5 to go14117A

Reply posted by alks, today at 19:20alks

19:20to wemarchon"Well done Chelsea. 5 to go"alks replied: 11*289More replies (6)downA

Comment posted by almdudler, today at 19:11almdudler

19:11Protests work13012J

Reply posted by JesterGoose, today at 19:20JesterGoose

19:20to almdudler"Protests work"JesterGoose replied: I think it was lack of support across the board, threats of political and sporting sanctions, and the massive amount of legal wrangling that persuaded Chelsea rather than some fans outside the ground chanting.
Let’s face it, clubs haven’t paid much heed to fan concerns for a very long time now.1283More replies (5)downD

Comment posted by Dave, today at 19:11Dave

19:11Well done to everyone who kicked up an almighty row about this. Fan power. Ex players, fans, all standing together.1167E

Reply posted by end racism ALL lives matter BBC, today at 19:40end racism ALL lives matter BBC

19:40to Dave"Well done to everyone who kicked up an almighty row about this. Fan power. Ex players, fans, all standing together."end racism ALL lives matter BBC replied: The FA should still show just a little integrity by docking points from ALL teams involved in this fiasco!

But do they have a shred of integrity in them?4612More replies (5)downM

Comment posted by Monkey Planet, today at 19:18Monkey Planet

19:18The main ringleaders in all this have been Real Madrid & Manchester United. Never forget that.

The Glazer’s & Woodward chief architects.

They should be ousted from the club.972P

Reply posted by Phlanx, today at 19:30Phlanx

19:30to Monkey Planet"The main ringleaders in all this have been Real Madrid & Manchester United. Never forget that.The Glazer’s & Woodward chief architects.They should be ousted from the club."Phlanx replied: Breaks my heart to agree with you111More replies (4)downP

Comment posted by pradmeist, today at 19:11pradmeist

19:11Hopefully the rest will fold like a pack of cards now1028G

Reply posted by Getcher Andsoff, today at 19:31Getcher Andsoff

19:31to pradmeist"Hopefully the rest will fold like a pack of cards now"Getcher Andsoff replied: Hopefully not.

This is s real loss to the global soccer market (including USA, Asia, Africa etc). It’s a shame they’ll be denied the spectacle to pacify a few UK based so called fans!20264More replies (34)downS

Comment posted by Shane O Mac, today at 19:21Shane O Mac

19:21As an Arsenal fan, I’m proud of Chelsea, which isn’t an easy thing to admit. Abramovich has always had a close connection to the fan base. Expect the blood sucking American trio of Silent Stan, the Glaziers and Henry to hold put until the bitter end.652R

Reply posted by ReMo, today at 19:22ReMo

19:22to Shane O Mac"As an Arsenal fan, I’m proud of Chelsea, which isn’t an easy thing to admit. Abramovich has always had a close connection to the fan base. Expect the blood sucking American trio of Silent Stan, the Glaziers and Henry to hold put until the bitter end."ReMo replied: Spot on Shane110More replies (4)downZ

Comment posted by zodiac, today at 19:11zodiac

19:11Great news, just need the other five to follow614T

Reply posted by The Spin Doctor, today at 20:07The Spin Doctor

20:07to zodiac"Great news, just need the other five to follow"The Spin Doctor replied: Down to 4 now…..tick tock….tick tock10F

Comment posted by FXImpactUser, today at 19:11FXImpactUser

19:11Should never have signed up in the first place but I’m glad sense based prevailed and we may be able to rescue some towards our reputation moving forwards for acting promptly! COYB!555F

Reply posted by FXImpactUser, today at 19:13FXImpactUser

19:13to FXImpactUser"Should never have signed up in the first place but I’m glad sense based prevailed and we may be able to rescue some towards our reputation moving forwards for acting promptly! COYB!"FXImpactUser replied: #has44More replies (1)downMore commentsBack to topunknown
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