That world-shaking tournament drawn up by 11 of the game’s biggest clubs (and Spurs) and formally announced on Sunday night already looks like it’s collapsing.
Two days later, Manchester City confirmed they have “formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League” in a 25-word statement. Then one of their own players made fun of the whole thing.
That was quick lol
— Aymeric Laporte (@Laporte) April 20, 2021
Super League chairman Florentino Perez’s interview on Spanish TV last night went down like a lead balloon and today, in addition to a scorching condemnation of the competition by both Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and then later Pep Guardiola in a pre-match press conference, scores of other footballing figures spoke up against the competition, joining Gary Neville, who has been spewing invective at the idea of a Super League non-stop since Sunday.
🗣 "The sport is not a sport when the relation between the effort and the success, the effort and the reward don't exist, it's not a sport. It's not a sport if it doesn't matter if you lose."
Pep Guardiola speaks about the idea of the 'European Super League' pic.twitter.com/SDNIKaC3ih
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 20, 2021
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) April 20, 2021
And then as the sun set, news began to filter through that Chelsea would follow Manchester City in pulling out of the competition. At the time of writing, there are unconfirmed reports that Atlético Madrid will do likewise and that the Super League itself might be disbanded already.
Everton's 2020-21 Premier League title dream https://t.co/TynQ3hxItN
— Sharaf Juhayr (@SharafJuhayr) April 20, 2021
Marcelo Bielsa’s spell as Lazio manager.
— Jake Entwistle (@JakeEntwistle) April 20, 2021
Gary Neville's Valencia career.. https://t.co/4SgkS8U7kl
— Jide (@drillzen) April 20, 2021
Essentially it’s kind of all happened at once, and as you can imagine, Twitter has gone wild.
Florentino Pérez at the next Super League meeting pic.twitter.com/3F16qRwohc
— macksnotmax (@macksnotmax) April 20, 2021
RIP Super League pic.twitter.com/MB2wgTVmqW
— Big Dog Clothing CEO (@samalcarez) April 20, 2021
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 20, 2021
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 20, 2021
Florentino Perez working on the super league https://t.co/wJ6zmp4hPc
— LavishLuka (@LavishLuka) April 20, 2021
Kroenke trying to justify himself when we have him against the wall. pic.twitter.com/uKuarF58ih
— Michael Keshani (@MichaelKeshani) April 20, 2021
— 🇩🇿 (@Ma7rezx) April 20, 2021
And as if things weren’t incredible enough, reports have emerged that Ed Woodward resigned from his position as executive vice chairman of Manchester United. Which set Twitter off again.
Here they go pic.twitter.com/hzpkwrfPLO
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2021
Phil Jones outlasted Woodward. pic.twitter.com/vqzWXh1K5T
— Alternative MUFC Commentary. (@AlternativeMUFC) April 20, 2021
Nicky Butt seems happy tonight pic.twitter.com/ARJH8Ipzbh
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) April 20, 2021
Come on Joel let’s be having ya 😂
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 20, 2021
The rumour was then made official by United themselves. There are suggestions he was going to step down at the end of the 2021 anyway but although they don’t mention the Super League anywhere in the statement, it absolutely has to have been a factor in the timing of their announcement at the very least.
Not to be outdone, Liverpool players have all posted an image on social media stating their firm and unified opposition to the Super League. So even if Fenway Sports Group did not intend to pull out of the competition, the Liverpool players will not accept their involvement.
“I don’t see a future for the ownership of FSG at Liverpool,” said Jamie Carragher on Sky.
— Jordan Henderson (@JHenderson) April 20, 2021
This is the best coordinated attack I’ve seen the Liverpool players deliver all season ❤️
— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) April 20, 2021
More rumours began circulating that Andrea Agnelli, one of the major driving forces behind the Super League, was set to resign from the club. However that was swiftly debunked (and never likely – Agnelli is part of a family that has controlled Juventus for almost a century).
Juventus denying Agnelli has resigned
— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) April 20, 2021
Meanwhile over in Catalunya, newly appointed president Joan Laporta had not said anything one way or another about the Super League. The club was even late to post confirmation and many wondered how Laporta would square his previous opposition to a Super League to joining one. Well, by keeping his counsel he may have ridden the storm out, and reports were coming in that he planned to leave to the Barcelona’s members to vote on whether or not they join the Super League (falling back on the democratic process which governs the club and thus ensuring he doesn’t have to be the one who makes the call).
El @FCBarcelona no entrarà a la Súperlliga si no ho aprova l’Assemblea de socis. Així ho va fer constar @JoanLaportaFCB en el document fundacional del nou gran projecte europeu de futbol. Més info, al TNVespre, de @tv3cat.
— Xavi Torres (@xavitorresll) April 20, 2021
And then finally it happened. After all the rumours, reports and memes; one of the Super League’s 12 Founding Clubs broke away as Manchester City became the first club to officially remove themselves from the competition.
— Nic English (@nicwenglish) April 20, 2021
A move which was greeted with great joy by Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin: “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."
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) April 20, 2021
Ultimately, the message taken from the Super League’s imminent collapse has to be that worker solidarity is the key to defeating vast engines of injustice. The Super League was a terrible idea, and by banding together; managers, players and fans from different clubs, even hated rivals, have managed to push back against the money-driven whims of a group of billionaires.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) April 20, 2021
Today's success should serve as a stark reminder of just how powerful the threat of witheld labour and solidarity is.
A lesson for the coming years. https://t.co/h5mxZhI5eW
— Toni Kroos’s Slippers (@paulewart23) April 20, 2021
P.S. don’t forget to have a chuckle at Florentino Perez.
Florentino Perez today:
How it started Vs how it's going: pic.twitter.com/joAYSmxIh3
— DJ (@12456Dj) April 20, 2021