Manchester United have withdrawn from the European Super League after universal criticism of the announcement.
United played a major role in the formation with the club’s co-owner Joel Glazer one of the main backers of the breakaway league, but the widespread condemnation from government, the Premier League, Uefa, players, managers, fans and pundits has led to all six English sides pulling out.
Manchester City and Chelsea were the first to announce they would not be going through with their plans to join and United joined them along with the other three English sides – Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea – in pulling out.
A statement from the club read: ‘Manchester United will not be participating in the European Super League. We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders.
‘We remain committed to working with others across the football community to come up with sustainable solutions to the long-term challenges facing the game.’
We will not be participating in the European Super League.#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 20, 2021
Glazer along with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward were two of the driving forces behind the breakaway league but, while they expected some backlash, they were not expecting the level of discontent which followed the formal announcement this past Sunday evening.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a meeting on Tuesday after he called the plans ‘very damaging’ for football. The 14 other clubs in the Premier League also held their own meetings where they condemned the proposals.
As fans protested outside Elland Road on Monday night and again outside Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, clubs started to withdraw.
It is understood the players and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were left in the dark over the proposals. Solskjaer was left to field questions from reporters after the win against Burnley on Sunday, having only heard about the proposals via the media earlier in the day.
Players started to voice their disproval in the 48 hours that followed. Marcus Rashford tweeted a picture with a banner that said ‘Football without fans is nothing’ while Harry Maguire posted a similar image on his Instagram page and Luke Shaw penned a statement expressing his concern over the new scheme.
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