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The rise and fall of the European Super League – a timeline of developments

PA Sport Staff
·6-min read

The football world was stunned over the weekend by news of a proposed European Super League, but the project has quickly and dramatically crumbled.

Here, the PA news agency charts the developments since Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, April 18

1400 – Reports emerge that Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are supporting a breakaway European Super League.

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1600 – The Premier League says it “condemns any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit”.

1615 – A joint statement from UEFA, the Football Associations of England, Spain and Italy, plus the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A add that they remain united in their efforts to “stop this cynical project” and are considering all “judicial and sporting (measures) in order to prevent this happening”.

1700 – The FA says it would be “damaging to English and European football at all levels”.

1900 – Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville claims the ‘big six’ should be relegated if they sign up, calling the project an “absolute disgrace” and a “criminal act against football fans in this country”.

2330 – The ‘big six’ announce in a joint statement they are to join a new European Super League along with AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid, with a further three clubs to join ahead of the inaugural season, “which is intended to commence as soon as practicable”.

Monday, April 19

Leeds United v Liverpool – Premier League – Elland Road
A Liverpool replica shirt is burnt outside Elland Road as football fans around the country showed their discontent (Zac Goodwin/PA)

0700 – Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer hails the project as a “new chapter”.

1400 – UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says players who represent clubs competing in the breakaway competition will be banned from international competitions. He is visibly angered at the conduct of some of the leading orchestrators, including Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, describing them as “greedy”.

1500 – The Premier League calls a meeting for Tuesday morning, inviting the 14 clubs not included in the breakaway project.

1830 – The Duke of Cambridge, the president of the FA, tweets his concern for the “football community” over Super League plans.

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1920 – Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who has previously spoken against the idea of a breakaway European league, tells Sky Sports ahead of his side’s game at Leeds that his “opinion didn’t change”.

2200 – James Milner becomes the first player who would be due to feature in the competition to speak out against it, saying: “I don’t like it and hopefully it doesn’t happen.”

2220 – Tensions run high after the match as Klopp and Neville clash, with the German unhappy with the former England defender for questioning the use of their ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ anthem in light of the club’s ESL involvement.

Tuesday, April 20

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018 – Royal Festival Hall
Florentino Perez claimed “the law protects us” (PA)

0000 – European Super League chairman Florentino Perez, in an interview on Spanish TV, is vehement that expulsion from the Champions League would not happen, claiming “the law protects us”.

0930 – Everton accuse the ‘big six’ of “preposterous arrogance” and of “betraying” supporters around the country.

0930 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino says his organisation “strongly disapproves” of plans and has warned the breakaway clubs they will have to “live with the consequences of their choice”.

1230 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson tells football authorities that no action by the Government “is off the table” in seeking to block the project.

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1330 – Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola questions the sporting merits of the Super League, saying: “It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed, it is not a sport where it doesn’t matter when you lose.”

1400 – Paris St Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi says proposals have been driven by self-interest as he instead backs UEFA’s planned reforms to the Champions League.

1410 – The 14 Premier League clubs at Tuesday’s meeting “unanimously and vigorously reject” Super League plans and the governing body announces it is “considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing”.

2100 – Captain Jordan Henderson and other Liverpool players tweet: “We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen. This is our collective position.”

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2110 – Manchester United confirm Woodward will step down from his role at the end of 2021.

2125 – Manchester City confirm their intention to pull out of the proposed European Super League.

2250 – Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham announce the end of their involvement.

Wednesday, April 21

0050 – Chelsea officially follow suit, declaring their participation would “not be in the best interests of the club, our supporters or the wider football community”.

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0100 – The European Super League releases a statement announcing it is considering “appropriate steps to reshape the project” in the wake of English departures.

0800 – Liverpool principal owner John W Henry takes full responsibility for the “disruption” caused and apologises to the club’s fans for letting them down.

1056 – Atletico Madrid pull out.

1100 – Inter Milan follow suit.

1224 – AC Milan also withdraw.

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1237 – Juventus release a statement in which they admit there are “limited possibilities” for the European Super League to proceed in its original format, without explicitly confirming their intention to withdraw.

1636 – Glazer releases an open letter, saying Manchester United “apologise unreservedly for the unrest caused during these past few days”.

1840 – Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano writes to supporters apologising for the club’s involvement in the affair.

1945 – Al-Khelaifi is appointed as the new European Club Association chairman in place of Agnelli.