Super League is dead, admits Agnelli

Juventus chairman and founder of the doomed European Super League, Andrea Agnelli || DW

Breakaway European Super League founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said on Wednesday that the league can longer go ahead after six English clubs withdrew. They were followed by Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan on Wednesday morning.

Asked whether the project could still happen after the exits, Agnelli said: “To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case.”

However, Agnelli seems to believe the project can continue in some form with the remaining clubs: Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, and his club, Juventus. “There is a blood pact binding our clubs together,” Agnelli told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Agnelli confirmed that he would not be stepping down from his role as Juventus chairman, despite reports to the contrary. 

Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan withdraw

Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan became the latest clubs to withdraw from the European Super League fiasco on Wednesday.

Atletico, whose board of directors met on Wednesday, said it “decided to formally communicate to the Super League and the rest of the founding clubs its decision not to formalize its participation in the project.”

Inter said the club was committed to delivering the best soccer experience for fans because “innovation and inclusion have been part of our DNA since our foundation.”

“Our commitment with all stakeholders to improve the football industry will never change,” the Italian club said. 

German clubs weren’t invited – Perez

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said many contentious things in his El Chiringuito appearance on Monday night but one of his claims was correct: neither Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund were invited to join the Super League prior to the founding member’s announcement on Sunday night.

Aware of the two German giants’ concerns over a breakaway move, Perez and his co-conspirators had never shown their hand to them. DW sources can confirm that Dortmund were never involved in the talks at any stage.

“Florentino’s idea was to create maximum momentum with all the clubs that were on board,” a senior official from another top European club suggests. “Approaching the two German teams (and Paris Saint-Germain, who also harbored doubts) would have slowed things down and might have led to damaging leaks. You don’t start a revolution with guys who are not fully committed.”

Manchester United and Spurs complete English exit

That’s the full set of English clubs, and half the teams gone. Spurs, unlike their counterparts, have attributed quotes to chairman Daniel Levy, but there’s not quite an apology.

“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.”

United’s missive was very brief and mentioned that the club had “listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders.”

Liverpool and Arsenal the next to go

Two more of the six English sides initially signed up for the Super League have officially announced their desire to pull out within 48 hours of its unveiling. Liverpool and Arsenal now join Manchester City, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham unlikely to be far behind.

“Liverpool Football Club can confirm that our involvement in proposed plans to form a European Super League has been discontinued,” said a statement on the Liverpool website.

“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.”

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