How fans took on multi-billionaires to take down European Super League
The European Super League can no longer proceed, Juventus boss Andrea Agnelli confirmed on Wednesday, as Spain's Atletico Madrid, Italy's Inter Milan, and six English teams abandoned the breakaway competition after intense criticism.
As many as 12 major football clubs announced a new European Super League on Monday as they break away from the UEFA Champions League. While the development was received extremely angrily by fans, politicians and respective domestic leagues, a couple of clubs have reportedly taken their names back from the breakaway super league.
Massive criticism and protests by the fans
Twelve of football's most powerful clubs faced accusations of greed and cynicism on Monday as they announced a breakaway European Super League that could have far-reaching implications for the game.
Six Premier League teams - Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham - are involved, alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.
Debts and large wage bills the reason?
The clubs, most of them saddled with debt and large wage bills, and hit hard by the pandemic, stand to benefit financially, with predictions that they will share billions of euros.
But the initial reaction from football authorities, fans and pundits was furious, with threats to ban participating clubs from domestic, European and world competitions.
"Our members and football supporters across the world have experienced the ultimate betrayal," the Chelsea Supporters' Trust said.
"This is unforgivable. Enough is enough," it added.
The withdrawal of clubs
The withdrawal by Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, just 48 hours after the league's unveiling, followed a furious reaction from fans, officials and politicians.
Atletico Madrid, Inter and AC Milan have followed all six English Premier League clubs in quitting the breakaway European Super League on Wednesday as the latest development gave another hammer blow to a project that prompted worldwide criticism.
'For the club'
Atletico Madrid, AC Milan Inter announced they were pulling out on Wednesday with just four clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus – remaining in the Super League scheme of things.
"For the club, harmony is essential between all the groups that make up the rojiblanco family, especially our fans," Atletico said in a statement.
'Fans before finance'
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and described the English clubs as "back in the fold".
"I said yesterday that it is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake," Ceferin said in a statement.
"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."