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European Super League news: summary 21 April 2021

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European Super League, live updates: interview Florentino Pérez, ten clubs withdraw, reactions, UEFA, clubs

European Super League: latest news: 21 and 22 April

SUPER LEAGUE

European Super League, live updates: interview Florentino Pérez, ten clubs withdraw, reactions, UEFA, clubs

European Super League: new feed

It's been another busy day and so we've moved to a fresh daily live blog to keep track of everything across Thursday.

Join us here and you'll not miss a thing in what continues to be an incredible, and ever-unfolding story...

Super League highlights challenge at Liverpool

'There are calls among Liverpool fans for Henry to leave, and #FSGout has been trending, but some perspective is required here. First, who is going to spend £3 billion during a pandemic when the possibility of a future broadcast bonanza has disappeared? Secondly, would the new owners necessarily possess a moral compass?

'Liverpool fans’ anger is understandable because Henry trampled on principles they value highly, that sense of communality in sport and the compulsion for sporting jeopardy. Also, they thought Henry was better than Glazer and Kroenke. “Betrayed” is how one fan described his view of Henry.'

Henry Winter looks at the need for fans on the Liverpool board.

SUPER LEAGUE

European Super League is 'on standby' says Florentino Pérez

We brought you coverage in this feed of the comments by the European Super League's chairman, Florentino Pérez, as they happened.

Here you can watch and listen for yourself.

Super League planning

Kristof reminds us that this week's stunning revelations of the European Super League have been in the mix for some time.

As he sys, Key Capital Partners, an independent financial firm from Madrid, had already sent round drafts of ‘binding agreements’ in 2018.

ALFREDO RELAÑO

England stops the egotistical European Super League

In England they understand football as being about sporting values... not a business based on exponential growth.

@AS_Relano says the reaction in the country where football was born put the brakes on the Super League.

And that's the end of the interview. European Super League president Florentino Pérez absolutely doubling down on his message that football with the current model is dying (by dying he means tv revenue is falling) and needs more attractive games to keep the fans happy, particularly the youngsters of 16 to 24 years old who are keener on playing with their consoles than watching 90 minutes of football, unless it's a highly attractive game. 

Pérez said all 12 Super League clubs are still onboard, despite 10 of them issuing public statements that they are out, though he says the spirits of several are very low after the attacks they've suffered. He notes none have broken the binding contract they signed. In his opinion these attacks are being orchestrated from on high, by people in privileged positions in football. 

Pérez says the model used by European basketball, which is very similar to what the Super League is proposing, saved the sport here. 

Possibility of the semi-final against Chelsea not going ahead: "Who said that? Ceferin said it might not be played? Why?"

Fans: "We're telling everyone, that we only need to think about the fans. They're the ones who pay for the television rights, the shirts. We need to think about the fans. Sometimes a coach does something the fans don't like and I always say that they are the ones that sack us." 

Did you guarantee the clubs that PSG and Bayern would be in by July? "No. We all signed the same contract, not a comma more or a comma less. How could I have guaranteed that? If you ask me if I'd  like them to be in I'll tell you I would, but it's not in the contracts"

Atleti: "No, I've not spoken to them... Their spirits are low because of everything that's been said."

Back to Ramos... "Madre mía..." exclaims Pérez. "I'm not going to dicuss it"

Caller asks how Pérez says the Super League is a reaction to the pandemic but also that they've been working on it for three years. He replies that the problem has been there for years - the fall in TV revenue - and that the project is to solve that, then the pandemic happened, but we could already see that the youngsters aren't so interested. 

Pérez says he doesn't believe Zidane won't continue at Real Madrid. "He's a legend at the club and one day he'll have to leave and when that happens he'll leave."

We're off the Super League for a bit and discussing the Real Madrid defence. 

Who stoked up the Chelsea fans? "The people behind it are the same as the the people behind the shirt the Cádiz players wore today (before their match against Real Madrid, saying "Football is for the fans"). These days that's not normal, we need to set an example. The world of football is a world of values."

Will what happened reinforce the image of UEFA and the Leagues: "I think we all have the obligation to be polite, to listen and manners are important. Ceferin has not done things right. We offer a vision of what football is. I've never insulted anyone in 20 years in football. I think some people will regret later what they've said. No I don't think they come out of this looking better. The fans know about the manipulation."

Florentino Pérez is, as expected, absolutely not backing down. He's convinced the very biggest clubs in Europe need a new competition where they get to play each other far more often. He keeps repeating the Champions League is only interesting from the quarter-finals. His statement that all 12 clubs are still onboard is curious, given that 10 of them have made public statements saying they are out. 

The announcement without a presentation, with no details: "There was one club that didn't appear to be so keen, but they signed and have been working. We've signed a binding contract after a lot of work. From there, we need to work on how to choose the other five."

How many clubs are left in the Super League: "Right now the 12 are in, they haven't left."

Pérez asked about talk of Mbappé signing for huge sums, Tottenham paying €25 million to sack Mou, the amounts talked about for Haaland. How can you say football has no money?

"That's the way things are. It's maybe poor administration. I have to look out for Real Madrid. Real Madrid has nobody who puts money in the club, because it belongs to its members. I have to administer the club well to make it work."

Why don't people thing we've done our work? Why do people think we're stupid? If every Tuesday or Wednesday you're going to play against Manchester or the big clubs are you seriously telling me people don't want that. 

"You think the fans of Real Madrid don't want that. Playing attractive sides from the start of the season?"

Ramos renewal: "We're finishing up this season. We need to ask the players to make a major effort [in terms of salaries]. Then we'll see how things look from a Covid perspective, because we lose 80 or 90 million euros if there are no spectators.

Would you like Ramos to renew? "Of course, he's like a son to me"

Possibilities: "It depends on Real Madrid's situation. This year we're bringing in 300 million euros less. We need to sell a player, do things... I've done what I can up to now and I haven't done it badly. Despite a few people saying I don't know about football. I know what it's like to come into a club in 2000 where people hadn't been paid. I put up everything I could and changed the world with the galácticos and went from losing 30 or 40 million euros a year to bringing that in."

Message to the world of football: "What I'd say to the world is that things change. After 2 decades new generations appear who want new things. We believe they think like us, but it's not true. Football is spectacular, it's the most popular global sport, but if we don't look after it the people will go elsewhere.There are other things out there. Other platforms. If there aren't competitive matches the TV won't pay. The more competitive the matches the more they pay."

"We've talked to a number of television companies and we know what they want. Things have changed. People don't realise..."

"I want there to be transparency. There is in the NBA, they publish the salaries of the players, the executives. When they need to reduce costs you can see what they've done. I think that all the companies have lowered their salaries. My salary is public in Spain. Football needs to make a sacrifice. But if people keep thinking nothing has changed..."

Meeting of LaLiga without Barça, Real Madrid and Atleti: "Madrid doesn't go where it's not been invited. Mr. Tebas is one of those who needs to change how this industry works."

Criticism of Tebas: "I don't talk about that. No comment"

Signing Galáticos: "Without the Super League we won't have them. Not for Real Madrid, not for anyone. We're looking to finish the season as best we can. The signings form part of next season.  If a smaller club can't sell a player they're going to have a bad time of it, because the value of the television rights are falling. We need to find a solution to talk about this and about solidarity. They haven't even let us talk about the solidarity in the project."

Pérez says anyone who thinks the Super League is dead is completely wrong. 

Pérez says he'd be delighted to speak to anyone who has a model for bringing in more money. 

We're back to possibly signing Mbappé, a recurring theme every time Pérez speaks. He says they are focused on finishing this season first. 

Pérez returns to his theme of European clubs losing vast amounts of money (2,000 million euros) and that the Super League is the way to save football. 

Pérez says he wouldn't change anything they did in the way they announced the Super League.

"We had it prepared. But they they went for us, with an aggressive attack just before we launched."

Options: "We're open to someone else coming up with another option than the Super League. It's not about the rich and poor. Madrid is not rich, it's rich in trophies.

I don't earn a penny from this. I have to say that in 20 years, if I wanted a shirt, I paid for it. I have the authority to say, that if I'm doing this it's for the good of football."

Legal action against clubs who left? "No, no... but in the contract you can't just leave like that. These are binding contracts with professional people, business people most of whom know this world."

Contracts with the 12 clubs: "They were contracts we all signed together and they are binding."

Clubs: "Real Madrid have always been in, the possibility of it without Real Madrid is zero. The clubs that have to be there are the ones who have earned the right over the past 20 years, who have followings on social media and fans, who have been in semi-finals and finals of the Champions League. They say we're all equal, but there are games nobody watches. I struggle to watch them, and if I struggle to watch them... Elche vs Valladolid? Even for Ronaldo..."

"Football has always been maintained by the big clubs. Tennis by the great players. Messi has been great for Spanish football and football in general. Let someone find a way to generate money because without something football dies."

Have you felt abandoned and alone in the past few days? "No! I've been working."

"The main thing is for the games to capture the attention of the world and above all the youngsters... 40% of youngsters between 16 and 24 don't watch football now. If you've got a great game, you bring the youngsters in instead of them going off to play on their PlayStations."

Pérez says Juve and Milan have NOT left. "We're all in this together." Says they are still thinking about how to take it forward. 

Pérez: "UEFA put on a show, that I was completely surprised by. As if we'd dropped a nuclear bomb. What did we do wrong? Maybe we presented it badly. But why didn't they let us talk about it. 

It isn't fair that in England six are losing and 14 winning, that big clubs in Spain are losing money and the small clubs are earning money. Football is a pyramid. If there is money at the top, then the money flows down and everyone gets some."

"At the top Federer has to play against Nadal. People don't go to see Nadal against the 80th in the world."

Pérez: "We were missing three clubs, the German and French clubs, then there would be five others. And all the other clubs could play in a second division, or in the Champions League..."

Pérez: "I'm convinced there is no other solution to the problems facing football."

Or the Super League or football dies?

"Or someone comes up with something else..."

"They started with a campaign, saying we would get rid of the Leagues, which is not true."

Pérez returning to his argument that people in football (by which he means at UEFA) have "privileges" they don't want to lose. 

Pérez says he's convinced there will be a Super League. 

Pérez says the six English club withdrawing affected the other clubs. 

Pérez can't really be believe what he's saying here, that UEFA would sit down and happily debate the Super League as a serious option. 

Pérez says he's never seen such a negative reaction as he was from UEFA and the other clubs. Said he's never seen such an aggressive reaction, threats, insults. "As if we'd killed someone."

But you can't expect UEFA to support this? "But why not, we're doing this to support football," says Pérez, 

"The 12 teams that were in League yesterday lost €600 million euros last year. The current format doesn't work. We want a format where we play each other. So rather than playing each other now in February or March, we can start at the start of the season."

Says they ran the numbers and there was far more money on offer, of which they would make solidarity payments to the other clubs. 

Pérez: "I'm sad and disappointed. We've been working for years in this, looking to see how to make things better from a football and economic point of view. The leagues are sacred. What we can change is the midweek games. The Champions League is obsolete. It's only interesting from the quarter-finals."

Pérez says they were working till very late last night. "Because we've been working on this [the Super League] for many years that maybe we haven't known how to explain. Let's see if today I'm lucky and I manage to explain the project"

 

 

Congratulations on the win over Cádiz. Pérez says thank you. 

Florentino Pérez is with Manu Carreño, the host of El Larguero (The Crossbar). Carreño asks if he's the president of the Super League, Pérez says it's enough to call him president of Real Madrid. 

Expect Florentino Pérez to double down on his message that football is dying with the current set up and something needs to be done. His solution: more competitive games, as the Super League would offer, in his opinion. Don't expect any contrition about the plans for the Super League. 

Florentino Pérez to speak

European Super League chairman (can you be a chairman of a club with two members?) and Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez is going to speak in quarter of an hour on Spanish radio (6pm EDT, midnight here in Spain, CEST).

He said in an interview on Monday night the Super League was here to "save football", with the extra cash somehow trickling down to the whole of football. He also interestingly said the 12 initial clubs had signed binding contracts to set up the Super League - let's see what he says about the 10 clubs that have left. 

Bale

Bale: "Super League is not happening"

"Us as players, all we have been focusing on is trying to get the new manager to settle in, the matter [the Super League] is closed as far as I'm concerned," Bale said after Tottenham's 2-1 win over Southampton.

"It's not happening, so we're all good. We can carry on as normal."

As for adjusting to Mason, he said: "[We] just have to be patient. [There were] positional issues as a team, we've only had a couple of days to work on that, so just minor teething issues.

Full story

Photo: Reuters

Cádiz wear anti-Super League t-shirts ahead of tonight's game against Real Madrid, one of the founding fathers of the failed project. 

"This is my club. My one and only club"

EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE

The dramatic rise and swift fall of Europe's Super League

Plans for a Super League of Europe's top soccer clubs, which was drawn up in secrecy over several months, stunned fans, players and politicians when news about it broke on Sunday. Yet by Wednesday, the new league's last rites were already being read.

The intervening hours were filled with a cacophony of criticism stretching from the stands to the pitches, and from the dressing rooms right up to the corridors of political power.

Below is a timeline of the outcry that erupted between Sunday lunchtime, when news of the plan first emerged, until the project was effectively declared dead on Wednesday morning.

Full story on ESL collapse

9

The Super League: website update

At the time of writing, the official website of the European Super League remains unchanged.

Agnelli admits the Super League is doomed

The Juventus president and one of the main promoters of the Super League admitted in an interview that without the English clubs the new competition could not work.

PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi elected as new ECA president

Atlético squad release European Super League statement

Atlético Madrid's players have released a statement to "convey our satisfaction" after the club withdrew from the European Super League.

Atlético were among 12 clubs who announced plans for the controversial new competition on Sunday. But the tournament – a rival to the Champions League but with guaranteed participation for its founding members – quickly came under scrutiny.

Anger from fans, players, coaches, governing bodies, governments and the media soon prompted England's 'big six' to back out. Atleti followed, along with Inter and Milan.

Koke, the Atleti captain, posted on his Twitter page on Wednesday: "From the Atlético Madrid squad, we want to convey our satisfaction about the final decision to renounce the Super League project made by our club.

"We will continue fighting to help Atleti grow from our position through the values of effort and sporting merit that have always characterised us, so that all of you continue to see yourself reflected in those signs of identity." Read more on Atlético's reaction

Osasuna show opposition to Super League

LaLiga club Osasuna showed their opposition to the European Super League with 'Football is for the fans' t-shirts before their league game against Valencia on Wednesday.

Real Madrid greeted in Cádiz with jeers of "money-grabbers" and "scabs"

Zinedine Zidane's side were given a none-too-warm welcome on arrival in Cádiz following the club's role in the frustrated European Super League. Watch video here.

Juventus still keen on breakaway league as AC Milan withdraw

Juventus remain convinced over the validity of a European Super League but admit the planned breakaway competition cannot possibly go ahead following a raft of withdrawals.

Milan followed Serie A rivals Inter in pulling out on Wednesday, as did Spanish side Atlético Madrid in a move welcomed by head coach Diego Simeone.

All six English teams – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – ended their involvement on Tuesday following widespread criticism of the proposal, including from some of their own players and coaches.

Juve president Andrea Agnelli confirmed to Reuters that the mass exodus of the Premier League contingent had effectively ended the possibility of a Super League going ahead – for now at least.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Bianconeri made clear the necessary procedures required for clubs to end their involvement have yet to be completed, as well as outlining how such a tournament still has merit from a sporting and commercial viewpoint. Read the full story. 

Real Madrid and Barcelona last Super League men standing

Paolo Maldini admits he was never involved in Super League talks

Nicky Butt on ESL: “What happened is the worst case of bullying"

Speaking with Sky Sports News at a charity event, former Manchester United player Nicky Butt labelled the 12 clubs involved in a breakaway Super League as "bullies".

“I don’t think apologies are too great anyway, in my opinion. I think what happened should never have happened," says Butt.

“What happened is the worst case of bullying, in my opinion, from powerful people. So I don’t think whether they apologise or not is relevant really," he added.

When asked how long clubs could expect their fans to stay angry at them, Butt seemed less than optimistic.

"[It will take] a hell of a long time. I don’t see how it’s possible really, to gain someone’s trust, going behind people’s back for so long. It’s going to be a very difficult thing. I don’t know how they will do it. That’s something that they have got to work out." Butt concluded.

Joel Glazer writes open letter to Manchester United fans

Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer has written an open letter admitting he got the European Super League project wrong. 

"You made very clear your opposition to the European Super League, and we have listened. We got it wrong, and we want to show that we can put things right.

"Although the wounds are raw and I understand that it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our fans and learning from the message you delivered with such conviction."

BARCELONA

Koeman hits out at football authorities as Super League fallout continues

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman hit out on Wednesday at football's authorities as the fallout continued from now-abandoned plans to create a European Super League.

The Catalan side were one of 12 clubs who announced plans on Sunday to form the breakaway league, which has since collapsed after most members withdrew following intense criticism from fans and politicians.

"I agree with (Manchester City coach Pep) Guardiola when it comes to the number of games players have to play in over a season. It's too many, incredible," Koeman told a news conference.

"Everyone's talking about the Super League and the Champions League, but UEFA aren't paying any attention to the players about the number of games.

"The only thing they care about is money. In La Liga, it's the same. Look at the scheduling. Tomorrow we play at 10 p.m. - we need to protect the players."

Read full story

Tottenham supporters display opposition to Super League

Koke on Atlético's ESL withdrawal: "We want to convey our satisfaction about the final decision"

Atleti captain, Koke, posted on his Twitter page on Wednesday: "From the Atlético Madrid squad, we want to convey our satisfaction about the final decision to renounce the Super League project made by our club.

"We will continue fighting to help Atleti grow from our position through the values of effort and sporting merit that have always characterised us, so that all of you continue to see yourself reflected in those signs of identity.

"We continue to work hard, focused on the game tomorrow."

Allardyce

European Super League "stinks of the American system" - Allardyce

West Bromwich Albion head coach Sam Allardyce wants to see greater protection put in place to guard the Premier League from further attempts to form a European Super League.

Former England manager Allardyce does not feel the danger has passed. "In that format, it's dead," he said. "But in other formats, it's on hold."

"Why would you want to desert the best league in the world, the most-watched league in the world, the most entertaining league in the world? The best players, the best managers and coaches – why would you want to destroy that?

"I find that [is] because individuals have come together, and in particular this stinks of the American system trying to be put in place, for me. Read the full story. 

Ian Wright thrilled with response to tackle ESL plan

"Can you imagine how wonderful this world would be if everybody motorised themselves like that for racism, inequality? I feel amazing this morning because of the fans around the world," Wright said.

Simeone: European football set for change

Atlético manager Diego Simeone still expects the events of the past few days to contribute to significant change in European football.

"Faced with seismic movements like this, something is going to change, for sure, I have no doubt," he said. "And for the better, don't get me wrong.

"When there are movements, the parties will have to get closer and find what everyone wants or wanted before." Read more.

Diego

Diego Simeone backs Atlético's decision to withdraw from Super League

Diego Simeone was not prepared to criticise Atlético Madrid chiefs nor the premise of the European Super League following the proposed competition's collapse but backed the decision to withdraw.

Going into what he told us [CEO Gil Marin] is not appropriate, but we saw doubts about this situation and what happened later, last night, when the clubs began to leave the Super League. 

Full story

Koke comes out after Atlético withdraw from ESL

"We're happy with the final decision taken by our club to reject the Super League project"

EFL chief: European Super League "a fundamentally bad idea"

Rick Parry, the chairman of the English Football League, has branded the European Super League "a fundamentally bad idea", adding that top clubs now stand to lose a major source of leverage.

"Even by football's standards, it's been an extraordinary 48 hours," Parry told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. "It was a fundamentally bad idea. I think we all thought it would take a while to overcome.

"What we do need to do is examine the fault lines that lead to it. We at the EFL say we need a fundamental reset of values - we’ll be making that point repeatedly in the future. Changes happening in Europe - clearly there is something wrong and we need to take time to address that."

Parry, who is the former chief executive of Liverpool and the Premier League, added: "For the last 25 years, the Super League has been the threat. It’s been the lever for clubs to bring about changes. That’s lost now.

"We welcome change - I’ve never been a fan of an independent regulator - but we are open minded. We need a reset in regards to how revenues are distributed as the pyramid is currently upside down."

7

The Super League: website update

At the time of writing, the official website of the European Super League remains unchanged.

Arsenal captain Aubameyang: A "big day for football and our fans"

LaLiga chief to speak to media on Thursday

LaLiga president Javier Tebas is to give a news conference on Thursday to discuss the events of the past couple of days.

Tebas and other LaLiga chiefs will speak to the media at 14:30 CEST.

Speaking to Spanish television channels GOL and Movistar+ today, Tebas has said the organisers of the proposed European Super League have “embarrassed themselves”.

RK

Koeman sidesteps ESL questions at Barça press conference

As things stand, Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona are the sole representatives of the proposed breakaway Super League. The FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman deflected questions on the topic in today's press conference ahead of Thursday's LaLiga game vs. Getafe:

The Dutch manager said: “I'm not the club's spokesperson, that is the president. It is quite normal that you ask me about this, but there is so much going on that it is better to wait and see how it ends up. If anyone should speak, it is the president, not me."

juve

Madrid and Barcelona last men standing as Juve exit too

No apologies from the Turin based outfit as they accept that the current proposal will not work.

 

AC Milan confirm ESL exit

Just Juve, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have yet to confirm an exit strategy involving the doomed Super League breakaway as AC Milan pull the plug.

Inter and Atletico withdraw as Agnelli says European Super League is a no-go

Andrea Agnelli still believes in the European Super League but accepted the project can no longer continue as further teams withdrew

LaLiga clubs (most of them) to wear Super League protest pre-game t-shirts

There will be a round of midweek fixtures starting tonight in LaLiga and the bulk of the sides will wear protest t-shirts with it anticipated that Real Madrid and FC Barcelona refrain from doing so. Despite having officially exited the ESL project, Atleti are not expected to don the shirts.

6

The Super League: website update

At the time of writing, the official website of the European Super League remains unchanged.

It still exists!

European Super League fiasco 'hugely embarrassing' for Madrid president Perez

Ramon Calderon told Stats Perform News that president Florentino Perez has seriously damaged his image at Real Madrid.

IM

Inter also pull the plug on the ESL

The Milanese side also bade their farewell to the scheme with a brief statment issued on midday Wednesday

ATM

Atletico Madrid confirm WSL withdrawal

The LaLiga side issued a brief statement on Wednesday morning confirming their exit from the breakaway initative.

Barça's Piqué questioned about double standards

FC Barcelona's Spanish defender tweeted that, 'Football belongs to the fans. Today more than ever.'

But one follower wanted to confirm his feelings regarding his recent tennis involvement, asking: 'What about Davis Cup?'

4

Juve's Agnelli makes ESL admission

More on the story we told you about earlier...

Breakaway European Super League founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said on Wednesday that the league can no longer go ahead after six English clubs withdrew. Asked whether the project could still happen after the exits, Agnelli told Reuters:

'To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case.'

Agnelli said he remained convinced that European football needed change and he had no regrets about the way the breakaway attempt was made.

'I remain convinced of the beauty of that project,' Agnelli said, stating it would have created the best competition in the world.

'But admittedly ... I mean, I don't think that that project is now still up and running,' he said.

Of all the six Premier League side to embark on the ESL trail, only Arsenal had the sensitivity to apologise as part of their written statement when they announced their respective exit.

A bola

RIP Super Liga

Portuguese daily A Bola summing up succintly the failed project in their front cover today.

3

The Super League: website update

At the time of writing, the official website of the European Super League remains unchanged.

It still exists!

FOOTBALL

Eric Cantona on the breakaway Super League

The former Manchester United player and idol for the Old Trafford faithful offered a succinct verdict on the proposed breakaway Euro Super League.

Juventus' Agnelli accepts reality

Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, who is also in the running for the shortest ever time in the position of vice chairman, accepts they can no longer progress with the European Super League without the six English clubs.

Let's see what Florentino Pérez and others say about that in the coming hours.

2

...to headlines like this, in just 24 hours

1

ESL headlines: from this...

Behind John Henry's Super League decision and apology

'It's been a distressing 48 hours for everyone associated with Liverpool. The ones who have suffered most and have been badly let down by Henry are Jürgen Klopp, the players, the club staff and the supporters.

'Once again FSG have been forced into issuing an apology after completing misreading the mood and failing to consult with those who mattered most.

'The fallout damaged preparations for Monday's draw at Leeds United and now Klopp must try to focus minds for Saturday's game with Newcastle United as Liverpool try to secure qualification for the Champions League - the competition Henry had wanted the club to walk away from.'

James Pearce assesses the lie of the land at Anfield.

Response to Henry's ESL comments

Ian Doyle makes a fair point here: effectively that it was important that something was said, but time and promises kept are key to him being believed.

It was evident from his words, and the direct apology to Jürgen Klopp and the players, that they had not been spoken to before the decison. Ignored from this huge decision, just like the fans.

Incompetent or naive?

Liverpool's John Henry apologises

"I want to apologise to all the fans," starts The Reds' owners who goes on to say they'll work to rebuild the trust.

Listen to what he had to say...

FOOTBALL

Players & fans hail 'great day for football' as Super League unravels

"What a beautiful day for football. Let's keep playing, let's keep fighting, let's keep dreaming," said Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.

"Teams finally seeing sense and pulling out of the SuperLeague ... Football is and ALWAYS will be about the fans," Rio Ferdinand said.

The reaction was swift.

 

Does UEFA come out stronger from this?

If the Super League has been abandonded, one of the many fascinating things that will come out of it is how it leaves relations between UEFA and the breakaway clubs.

Even if the Super League outfits never really wanted a new competition, but just wanted to turn the screws on UEFA to try and wring more cash and power out of European football's governing body, it looks like it's backfired badly.

Pundits, politicians and most importantly the vast majority of fans utterly rejected the Super League concept, meaning the bargaining position of the clubs involved is quite likely worse now than it was before they started the whole harebrained venture. 

Super League reshape

It is apparently official. This statement, first published by Fabrizio Romano talks about the need to "reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project".

There are some errors in the text though and it's not appeared on the Super League website, which seems a little strange.

Note the "due the pressure out" in the second paragraph and the use of "reconsider" in the final paragraph which should probably be "consider" as this would be the first time they've had to reshape the project after its announcement.

We've got a close eye on this...

Plan to continue with ESL without English clubs

Reports in Spain overnight were that the three Spanish and three Italian clubs would move ahead with European Super League project without English clubs.

But various rumours continued to circle...

Chelsea officially confirm exit

The Blues issued their statement, confirming the club had "begun the formal procedures for withdrawal from the group developing plans for a European Super League." 

Tottenham confirm ESL exit

Chairman Daniel Levy said: “We regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal. We felt it was important that our club participated in the development of a possible new structure that sought to better ensure financial fair play and financial sustainability whilst delivering significantly increased support for the wider football pyramid.

“We believe that we should never stand still and that the sport should constantly review competitions and governance to ensure the game we all love continues to evolve and excite fans around the world.

“We should like to thank all those supporters who presented their considered opinions.”

Manchester United confirm ESL exit

Manchester United issued a short statement confirming it was withdrawing from the ESL:

"Manchester United will not be participating in the European Super League. We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders. We remain committed to working with others across the football community to come up with sustainable solutions to the long-term challenges facing the game."

Liverpool confirm they are out

Liverpool's club statement:

"Liverpool Football Club can confirm that our involvement in proposed plans to form a European Super League has been discontinued. In recent days, the club has received representations from various key stakeholders, both internally and externally, and we would like to thank them for their valuable contributions."

Fairly basic announcement, but as we were to learn this morning, their owner would step up and speak out.

Arsenal confirms it will withdraw from ESL

Arsenal followed Man City and issued a statement confirming it would withdraw from the European Super League.

"The last few days have shown us yet again the depth of feeling our supporters around the world have for this great club and the game we love. We needed no reminding of this but the response from supporters in recent days has given us time for further reflection and deep thought.

"It was never our intention to cause such distress, however when the invitation to join the Super League came, while knowing there were no guarantees, we did not want to be left behind to ensure we protected Arsenal and its future. 

"As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake, and we apologise for it."

Manchester City confirm plan to pull out of ESL

Just minutes after Man United's statement announcing that Ed Woordward would be leaving, Man City has issued a statement confirming reports that the club will start proceedings to pull out of the European Super League.

"Manchester City Football Club can confirm that it has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League," read the short statement.

ESL statements to leave

Let's start by having a quick look back at the announcements from the Premier League clubs yesterday...

ESL: the clubs involved

A reminder that the clubs that signed up to this breakaway league are:

England (those that have since u-turned):

Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City & Manchester United

Italy:

Juventus, Inter & AC Milan

Spain:

Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona & Real Madrid

For various reasons, there were no founding representatives from Europe's two other big leagues in Germany and France, notably meaning no Bayern Munich or PSG.

European Super League: welcome

Hello and welcome to our rolling live feed as bring you all the latest news, reaction and fallout following Sunday night's seismic announcement that 12 clubs were set to form a breakaway European Super League.

After the backlash - from fans, players, managers, governing bodies and politicians - Tuesday saw the six English clubs reverse their decision to join up.

But the story is far from over...

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