ALL six English clubs have now quit the hated European Super League in a massive victory for fan power.
Chelsea were the first to abandon the project after fans gather outside their Stamford Bridge ground to voice their anger with Manchester City following soon after.
One Chelsea fan spoke for the nation with the simple message: ‘We want our cold nights in Stoke’Credit: AFP
Amid rising anger from supporters and players from all teams, the 12 ESL clubs last night called an emergency meeting to discuss ending it
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was left “shaken” by the fury directed at the Premier League’s “Big Six” rebels.
Eventually his team along with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal decided to quit the project.
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.”
Spurs’ north London rivals also apologised for the “distress” caused by the plan and said “we have heard you” as it too confirmed it was quitting.
“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,” the board said in a statement/
“We needed no reminding of this but the response from supporters in recent days has given us time for further reflection and deep thought.
“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 United said it will not be participating in the European Super League after listening “carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders”.
Liverpool also issued a statement confirming its “involvement in proposed plans to form a European Super League has been discontinued”.
The club said in recent days it had received “valuable contributions” on the issue.
The Premier League yesterday held a crisis meeting without them, where the remaining 14 clubs “unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans” for the European Super League.
Brighton players including Danny Welbeck also warmed up in protest tops.
Banners and scarves were tied to the fences around Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium in protest against the European Super LeagueCredit: Getty
Protesters hung banners in ManchesterCredit: PA
Marcus Rashford tweeted out a poignant image of Sir Matt Busby’s famous words: ‘Football is nothing without fans’
One delighted protester, Paul Greeves, 29, said: “I love this club, but the way they’ve acted has been a joke.
“This protest really shows what fan power can do. We’re united as one club. All fans have come together and it’s great to see.
“I can’t believe we have managed to force these clubs to act. It is unheard of in this day and age. Usually they are just all about the money.”
Arsenal were also rumoured to have quit last night, with fan channel AFTV claiming all six Prem clubs were pulling out.
Sources claimed Chelsea and Man City had been reluctant to sign up in the first place.
With public fury clear, broadcasters including Amazon Prime, Sky and BT hastily distanced themselves from the Super League project.
Woodward’s shock departure after 16 years at Old Trafford was said to have been in protest against the ESL.
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin this week called Woodward and his fellow rebel club leaders “snakes and liars”.
Andrea Agnelli, president of Juventus, one of three Italian sides which were joining the ESL, also resigned.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta last night backtracked, claiming its members will decide.
He said: “Barcelona will not join the Super League until our socios vote for it. It’s their club, so it’s their decision.”
There were also reports that Atletico Madrid were preparing to withdraw, leaving the fledgling project in tatters.
Earlier, sources said the “Big Six” may be forced to play behind closed doors after Covid, as the competition watchdog opened a probe.
Fans could also be handed powers to block teams joining any new league.
MORE ON SUPER LEAGUE OUTRAGE
Fan power across the football world pushed the hated European Super League to the brink of collapse.
Chelsea and Manchester City both pulled out, with Arsenal on the verge of quitting.
The rest of the 12 clubs involved were also due to hold crisis talks about disbanding the league — just 48 hours after plans were revealed.
Chelsea pulled the plug shortly before their Premier League match against Brighton last night.
The game was delayed for 15 minutes after protesting fans descended on Stamford Bridge and blocked the team buses.
Manchester United ace Marcus Rashford, who forced ministers into a U-turn over free school meals last year, issued a thinly-veiled warning to his club’s US owners.
Man United chief executive Ed Woodward resignedCredit: PA
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola appeared to criticise the plans even before his team quitCredit: Getty
The striker, 23, tweeted a poignant image of Red Devils hero Sir Matt Busby’s famous words: “Football is nothing without fans.”
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson also piled in, summoning all his fellow Premier League captains to an emergency meeting last night.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had told fellow Premier League executives the breakaway plot had been driven by a desire for “more respect and for more money” from European soccer chiefs.
But he added the backlash was “not what I wanted, or expected”.
The ESL would have seen the Premier League’s “Big Six” — United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool — and 14 other top European teams sharing a £4.6billion pot in a rival to the current Champions League.
Crowds descended on Stamford Bridge ahead of Chelsea’s match against BrightonCredit: Sebastian Frej/MB Media
Chelsea’s technical director Petr Cech begged fans to disperse as blue smoke grenades filled the airCredit: PA
Prince William, the FA President, held talks with FA chiefsCredit: PA
But it would be a “closed shop” with no relegation for the 12 founder members.
The 14 Premier League clubs not involved in the breakaway competition said they “unanimously and vigorously rejected” the plans.
Fans condemned the move as shameful. And last night they began reacting to news that their clubs may ditch the plans after all.
Spurs fan George Martin, 28, said: “It was a dumb idea to begin with. How dare these clubs think they can take over the game like this, it’s a disgrace.
“I’ve supported Spurs all my life and I was close to leaving them over this, so I am glad these clubs have seen sense and decided against it.”
Liverpool fan Ross Maietta, 72, said: “I’ve supported this great club for more than 50 years.
“I’ve seen them win multiple European Cups but I feared after this announcement it’d be the end for me.
Brighton players including Danny Welbeck warmed up in protest topsCredit: EPA
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson summoned all 20 Premier League captains to an emergency meetingCredit: Alamy
The grandson of Bill Shankly said his grandad’s statue should be removed from Anfield if the club went ahead with its threatCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
“But we have all managed to put our differences aside and come together for this cause.
“We say no to the Super League, now and forever. This would destroy football and I am not prepared to let that happen.”
And Arsenal fan Luke Gilles, 46, said: “My club is badly run. It is being run into the ground and I felt as though there was nothing I could do about it.
“This proves how much power fans have and I sincerely hope we can stick together in this and continue to fight for what is right for our clubs.”
Supporters have been furious since the plans for the new league were announced on Sunday.
Aston Villa fan Craig Bradley called for the teams involved to be kicked out of the Premier League.
Burnley fan Lorna Smith called it “a terrible idea and one that is purely motivated by greed”.
In America, British talk show host James Corden told viewers: “Many teams were started by working-class people, dock workers, builders… they were built by and for the communities that they play in. They are not franchises.
“Anyone can beat anyone on their day and it’s that that makes it incredible.
“Billionaire owners took something so pure and so beautiful and they beat the love and the joy out of it. And they did it for money.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola appeared to criticise the plans even before his team quit.
He said: “It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed, where it doesn’t matter when you lose.
Spurs chariman Daniel Levy said the breakaway plot had been driven by a desire for ‘more respect and for more money’Credit: Mark Pain / Premium Sport
“I would love the president of this committee to explain to the whole world why they took the decision.
“I don’t know why these specific teams have been selected.
“And it’s not fair if one team fights to make it to the top and then cannot qualify because success is just guaranteed for a few clubs.”