Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has admitted that the European Super League cannot continue without the six Premier League clubs who withdrew from the plans on Tuesday.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool, performed a dramatic U-turn on their decision to join the controversial breakaway league yesterday, just two days after its launch.
The six Premier League sides have now been joined by Spanish club Atletico Madrid and Italian side Inter Milan, who have today confirmed that they too would be withdrawing from the plans for the Super League.
And Agnelli, who resigned his position as chairman of the European Clubs’ Association to become a key player in the new league, now accepts that the plans will have to be shelved.
Asked whether the project could still happen, Agnelli said: “To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case.”
However, the Juventus chief, who was strongly criticised by Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin on Monday, has refused to give up on the idea entirely.
He added: “I remain convinced of the beauty of that project, of the value that it would have developed to the pyramid, of the creation of the best competition in the world, but evidently no. I don’t think that project is now still up and running.”
The football world has united over the past two days to condemn the Super League plans, which aimed to create a direct rival to the Champions League.
The 12 teams were to be joined by three other European clubs and five others, who qualified on merit, to compete in a closed league with no relegation throughout the season, in conjunction with existing domestic competitions.
However, a backlash which has included fan protests, united condemnation from Uefa, Fifa, the Premier League and other stakeholders in the game, as well as players and political figures, has forced the Super League to accept defeat, for now at least.
“The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change,” the league said in a statement on Tuesday night.
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“We are proposing a new European competition because the existing system does not work. Our proposal is aimed at allowing the sport to evolve while generating resources and stability for the full football pyramid, including helping to overcome the financial difficulties experienced by the entire football community as a result of the pandemic. It would also provide materially enhanced solidarity payments to all football stakeholders.
“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due to the pressure out [sic] on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations as was demonstrated today by a court decision to protect the Super League from third party actions.
“Given the current circumstances, we shall reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project, always having in mind our goals of offering the fans the best experience possible while enhancing solidarity payments for the entire football community.”