Soccer

Chelsea and Manchester City prepare European Super League withdrawal in hammer blow to breakaway competition

LONDON — Chelsea are preparing to withdraw from the European Super League less than 48 hours after joining the breakaway competition, a source has confirmed to CBS Sports.

Less than 48 hours after they and 11 other clubs announced that they were joining the midweek competition, the Blues have set in motion their withdrawal from the setup in what is a hammer blow to the plans of some of Europe’s biggest sides.

Stamford Bridge was engulfed with protests ahead of the Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion, and while sources at the club indicated that the events in West London should not be viewed as the sole reason behind Chelsea’s remarkable exit from the Super League, it is impossible to view this as anything other than a sign that the outcry from across the footballing community has prompted a change of heart. 

Chelsea are one of six Premier League clubs that make up the breakaway competition along with Arsenal, Liverpool Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. 

It had been reported earlier in the day that both Chelsea and Manchester City had doubts over their participation in the competition with manager Pep Guardiola saying in a press conference that “it is not a sport when it doesn’t matter where you lose” in response to plans that would see 15 founder clubs of the league handed immunity from relegation.

Following on the heels of Chelsea’s withdrawal plans, Manchester City are also preparing to abandon the project with CBS soccer insider Fabrizio Romano reporting that they want out of the Super League and are preparing to exit the endeavor. Though the decisions on wanting to leave are firm, the process of clubs extricating themselves from the process may prove to be a difficult task, and will take both time and lawyer to complete. Manchester City released a statement confirming their intention. In response, UEFA head Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement,

I am delighted to welcome City back to the European football family. They have shown great intelligence in listening to the many voices — most notably their fans — that have spelled out the vital benefits that the current system has for the whole of European football; from the world beating Champions League final right down to a young player’s first coaching session at a grassroots club.

Outside of England, Ben Jacobs reports that Atletico Madrid are preparing to join Chelsea and City in their quest to leave the fledgling project, though Romano has not confirmed that.

Listen below for more on this breaking story and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.  


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