Manchester City became the first club to officially leave the European Super League, less than 48 hours after they were named as one of the 12 founding members.
Arsenal and Liverpool have also released statements of intent to exit the project, the Gunners admitting to a mistake an apologizing to fans in an open letter.
Tottenham and Manchester United also announced intent to exit the ESP, and Chelsea was reported as leaving earlier Tuesday but has just finished a match against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Other reports suggest that Atletico Madrid and Barcelona also reportedly preparing to pull out.
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As for Chelsea, multiple reports state that the west London club are ‘preparing to request to leave’ as angry Chelsea fans gathered outside Stamford Bridge ahead of their game against Brighton.
Manchester City said in a statement that they can “confirm that it has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League.”
It is believed Chelsea are preparing similar documents to formally withdraw from the new competition, which was set up to rival the UEFA Champions League, while other details suggest that the Chelsea players told chairman Bruce Buck they didn’t want to play in the Super League and risk national team bans.
The 12 founding clubs reportedly signed a 23-year agreement to play in the competition, so there will be some legal work involved for them to get out of it.
Amid huge criticism from national associations, managers, pundits, governing bodies, politicians and most-importantly, fans, this is a huge moment.
Chelsea legend Petr Cech was seen outside Stamford Bridge on Tuesday trying to calm down the crowds, but went back into the stadium.
Throughout the day there were contrasting reports that some Premier League clubs were having second thoughts about joining the breakaway competition and Chelsea appear to be the first club to put their hand up and walk away.
Here was what happened when the Chelsea fans heard the news.
The scene at Stamford Bridge as it’s reported Chelsea preparing to withdraw pic.twitter.com/meZpntKiBc
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) April 20, 2021
How has the Premier League reacted?
The Premier League has released a damning statement on the proposed European Super League following a special meeting of 14 clubs, with sanctions threatened against the six breakaway clubs.
Six PL clubs Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all agreed to join the Super League with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus also signing up.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
On Monday there was a two-and-a-half hour meeting of the 14 PL clubs who have not signed up to the Super League, as the likes of Everton and West Ham sent out strongly-worded statements against the new competition.
Following that meeting, the PL released a statement saying the clubs ‘unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans’ and ‘is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those Shareholders involved to account under its rules.’
Below is the statement in full, as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also met with the league to lend his support and says the British government will get involved to stop the Super League happening, if needed.
“The Premier League, alongside The FA, met with clubs today to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal. The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition. The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those Shareholders involved to account under its rules.
“The League will continue to work with key stakeholders including fan groups, Government, UEFA, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately.
“The Premier League would like to thank fans and all stakeholders for the support they have shown this week on this significant issue. The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people.”