Leeds United news - European Super League left in tatters as Premier League 'big six' withdraw plans to join

English football’s so-called ‘big six’ have confirmed their intention to pull out of the proposed European Super League.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 11:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 12:02 am
Leeds United displayed a banner at Elland Road on Monday night opposing the European Super League plans. Pic: Getty

Manchester City became the first top flight team to officially quit the controversial project on Tuesday evening and were later followed by Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

Reports had already suggested that Chelsea had begun proceedings to withdraw from the breakaway competition earlier in the evening.

It capped a remarkable night of developments in the Super League saga which also saw Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward resign - though he will remain in post at Old Trafford until the end of the year.

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Protests were held at Elland Road on Monday night ahead of Leeds United's match with Liverpool before Chelsea fans gathered outside of Stamford Bridge prior to their clash with Brighton on Tuesday,

Leeds themselves placed a banner in the Don Revie stand and wore t-shirts during their pre-match warm-up with the same message. It read: "Earn it. Football is for the fans."

The Leeds United Supporters' Trust organised a plane to fly over the ground ahead of the game which said: "Say no to the Super League."

Whites majority owner Radrizzani has been vocal in his criticism of the idea in recent days and amid the breaking news of its impending collapse tweeted: "The One Day league?"

The Italian had earlier said: "[It's] absolutely against the sporting spirit, the dream of millions of fans to conquer the championships on the field, with planning, vision, work.

"[It] kills dreams of club players and fans. The teams are fans and WE are the keepers of the club."

The clubs involved released statements late on Tuesday night announcing their intentions to withdraw from the plans following widespread outrage from across the game.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said he regretted the “anxiety and upset” caused as he confirmed the club had “formally commenced procedures to withdraw from the group developing proposals for a European Super League (ESL).”

Arsenal also wrote an open letter to the supporters on the club’s official website.

It read: “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.”

Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City all released brief statements while Chelsea boss Tuchel said club owners had to understand that “competition and integrity counts above all else”.