Published: Apr 21, 2021, 22:08 (IST)
Atletico Madrid, Inter and AC Milan have followed all six English Premier League clubs in quitting the breakaway European Super League on Wednesday as the latest development gave another hammer blow to a project that prompted worldwide criticism.
The withdrawal by Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, just 48 hours after the league’s unveiling, followed a furious reaction from fans, officials and politicians.
Atletico Madrid, AC Milan Inter announced they were pulling out on Wednesday with just four clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus – remaining in the Super League scheme of things.
“For the club, harmony is essential between all the groups that make up the rojiblanco family, especially our fans,” Atletico said in a statement.
“The voice and concerns of supporters throughout the world about the Super League project have been strong and clear, and our Club must remain sensitive and attentive to the opinion of those who love this sport,” AC Milan said in a statement.
Even Juventus president and one of the ESL founders, Andrea Agnelli acknowledged it was an impossible task to proceed without the English clubs.
The Super League promised guaranteed entry for its founding clubs and billions of dollars in payments. Most of the clubs have huge debts and wage bills and suffered a sharp drop in revenues during the coronavirus pandemic.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and described the English clubs as “back in the fold”.
“I said yesterday that it is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake,” Ceferin said in a statement.
“But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not just to our competitions but to the whole of the European game.
“The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this and move forward together.”