Matt Dunham/Associated Press
The Super League released a statement on Tuesday saying it would “reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project” after all six Premier League founding members—Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham—officially withdrew from the competition, along with the Serie A’s Inter Milan.
The statement read as follows:
Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano
#SuperLeague official statement 🚨
“We are reconsidering the appropriate steps, in order to reshape the project”.
“We’re proposing a new competition, because current one isn’t working. English clubs have been forced to leave, due to outside pressure”.
It’s gonna be suspended. https://t.co/2GWXSVhTr4
AC Milan is also expected to pull out of the Super League, per soccer reporter Fabrizio Romano. That would leave just Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid left standing among the original 12 founding members.
The idea for the Super League was to take 15 founding members—three clubs were never finalized as founders—and have them play in a mid-week competition with five other clubs that would rotate in yearly. The Super League, in essence, would replace Champions League football and allow the 15 founding clubs a guaranteed spot in a lucrative and fairly exclusive competition.
That didn’t sit well with the rest of the soccer world, which saw those clubs attempting to gatekeep such a competition when in the past berths in Europe’s premier club competition—the Champions League—were based in merit.
There was equally the concern that guaranteed spots in the Super League—and by proxy, a guaranteed yearly cash windfall from such an endeavor—would further stratify the world’s wealthiest clubs by those with less means, already a major issue in the modern game.
Fans, former players and even managers from the Super League founding teams protested the competition.
“It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola told reporters. “It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed or it doesn’t matter if you lose. I said many times, I want the best competition. It is not fair when one team fight, fight, fight at the top and cannot be qualified because it is just for a few teams.”
“They’re breaking away to a competition they can’t be relegated from? It’s an absolute disgrace,” former Manchester United defender Gary Neville added during an appearance on Sky Sports (h/t AP). “We have to wrestle back power in this country from the clubs at the top of this league—and that includes my club.”
And the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust said its board “betrayed the club, its history and the magic that makes this game so special when they put their name to a statement announcing the formation of a breakaway European Super League.”