UEFA Champions League

European Super League: What's the latest in soccer's biggest story?

April 20

Well, that escalated quickly.

The biggest story in European soccer ⁠— or football, if you'd like ⁠— took another series of massive twists and turns Tuesday, as the newly dubbed European Super League came under fire in the days after its announcement.

A tipping point came prior to the kickoff of Chelsea's Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion, as news broke that the London club had begun the process of backing out of the Super League, along with EPL leader Manchester City.

Chelsea later released a brief statement confirming the news, saying "we have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the Club, our supporters or the wider football community."

Chelsea and Manchester City were among the 12 teams initially included in the Super League competition, along with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur out of England. Other European clubs included Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

By the time the night ended in the UK, all six English clubs had officially withdrawn from the Super League.

Below is a rough timeline of the events of the past two days, with the most recent buzz at the top:

Liverpool owner releases message to fans

At 3 a.m ET, 8 a.m. local time in Liverpool on Wednesday, Liverpool owner John W. Henry released a video message to the club's fans.

In it, the American businessman apologized to everyone at the club, including head coach Jurgen Klopp and the team players, as well as the fans. He also took sole responsibility for the negativity that followed the decision. 

"Again, I'm sorry," Henry said, "and I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity brought forward over the past couple of days."

Juventus, AC MIlan also out

In their respective club statements, Juventus and AC Mlian confirmed the project could not go forward at present.

A portion of Juventus' statement read: "... Juventus remains convinced of the soundness of the project’s sport, commercial and legal premises, it believes that at present there are limited chances that the project be completed in the form originally conceived."

And AC Milan stated: " ... The voices and the concerns of fans around the world have clearly been expressed about the Super League, and AC Milan must be sensitive to the voice of those who love this wonderful sport. We will continue to work hard to deliver a sustainable model for football"

Inter "no longer part" of project

Inter Milan released its statement on Wednesday confirming, "that the Club is no longer part of the Super League project."

Atletico backs out

The first La Liga domino fell on Wednesday, as Atletico Madrid formally asked to leave the agreement, saying in a statement, "For the club, harmony between all the groups that make up the Red & White family, especially our fans, is essential."

Super League's statement

The Super League suggested that the English clubs were being "forced to leave, due to outside pressure," in a statement. 

Arsenal apologizes for "mistake"

The Gunners posted an open letter to fans, which began with the following:

"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."

It continued with "We made a mistake, and we apologise for it."

Liverpool, Tottenham, United all withdraw

Each club posted a statement, and those can be read via the links in each club's respective tweet below:

City confirms move to withdraw, UEFA opens arms

The English club put out a statement that read:

"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."

In response, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said he was "delighted to welcome City back."

City star Raheem Sterling waved a cheeky farewell to the club's brief stay in the competition:

Liverpool players take a stand

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson tweeted a statement that was straight to the point, speaking for the Liverpool locker room: "We don't like it and we don't want it to happen."

Several other Reds players followed suit on their social media accounts.

Man U exec to step down

After more than 15 years at the club, Ed Woodward will step down as executive vice-chairman of Manchester United, as first reported by BBC Sport.

It hasn't been confirmed that this move is related to the Super League, but it's a situation worth monitoring, given the timing.

The club confirmed the report in a statement:

Atletico up in the air

Conflicting reports were coming out regarding Atletico Madrid, who were believed to have withdrawn. Those reports were countered by a report by the Athletic UK's Dermot Corrigan.

Watt weighs in

Even with all the commotion, there's still time for memes. NFL star and Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt took to Twitter to sum up the Super League experience:

Chelsea fans rejoice

News of Chelsea's withdrawal made it to the Blues fans outside Stamford Bridge, and the reaction was rapturous. (Note: Videos contain profane language.)

Man City also withdraw

The Citizens began the process of getting out of the Super League, per ESPNFC.

Chelsea starts to break away

Considered the first domino to fall, news of Chelsea's decision to lay the groundwork to withdraw from the league broke shortly before 2 p.m. ET.

Players speak out

Two prominent players, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City and Luke Shaw of Manchester United, released statements that summed up their feelings.

Fans on the move

Prior to Chelsea's game against Brighton, fans in London gathered outside Stamford Bridge to protest the club's involvement in the Super League.

This is a developing story.


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