Man Utd and Arsenal resign from European Club Association and Woodward steps down from Uefa role in wake of Super League
MANCHESTER UNITED, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have become the latest clubs to resign from the European Club Association following the revelation of a Super League proposal.
The 'big six' in England have all signalled their intent to join a 20-team breakaway league which has a provisional start date of the 2022-23 season.
And while the idea has been widely slammed by ex-players, fans and football's governing bodies, those clubs who have agreed to join the Super League have today begun to go one step further by resigning from the European Club Association [ECA].
According to journalists James Olley and Samuel Luckhurst, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have joined Inter Milan and AC Milan in leaving the ECA within the last 24 hours.
And The Mail are reporting that Juventus have also resigned, with club chairman Andrea Agnelli departing the Uefa Executive Committee.
In the same breath Man Utd chief executive Ed Woodward has also stepped down from his role on the Uefa Professional Football Strategy Council.
It comes after a statement was released by the Super League on Sunday night amid a huge backlash from the footballing world.
The statement read: "Twelve of Europe's leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs."
Meanwhile, a post on the Juventus club website said: "The clubs have agreed to join the Super League on a long-term basis.
"Additional top European clubs are expected to join the Super League project, reaching a core group of up to 15 permanent founding members that will be complemented each year by more clubs on the basis of an admission process, resulting in 20 clubs in the aggregate.
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And it went on to add: "Juventus expects the Super League to create long-term value for the Company and for the football industry as a whole."
Meanwhile, the ECA have come out in opposition to the Super League proposal, the latest in a long line of condemnations after Fifa, Uefa and the Premier League all weighed in.
The ECA said: "In light of today's reports on the subject of a so-called breakaway league, ECA as the body representing 246 leading clubs across Europe, reiterates its stated commitment to working on developing the UEFA Club Competitions (UCCs) model with UEFA for the cycle beginning 2024 and that a 'closed super league model' to which media articles refer would be strongly opposed by ECA.
"ECA would refer to the position adopted by its Executive Board at its meeting last Friday April 16, namely that it supports a commitment to work with UEFA on a renewed structure for European Club Football as a whole post 2024, including proposed changes to the UEFA Club Competitions post 2024.
"With ECA's support, UEFA's Executive Committee is being asked to endorse these commitments at its meeting on April 19 along with pursing efforts to reach an agreement on the future relationship between ECA and UEFA.
'The ECA Executive Board will be convening over the coming days to take appropriate decisions in light of any further developments."
Ex-Man Utd star Gary Neville described the Super League as 'criminal' while reacting on air on Sunday afternoon.
In a passionate rant, he said: "Relegate United, Liverpool and Arsenal because those three clubs are the history of this country they should be the ones to suffer most.
"Deduct them all points tomorrow – put them at the bottom of the league and take the money off them.
“Seriously you have got to stamp on this, it’s criminal. It is a criminal act against football fans in this country.
"Make no mistake about it. This is the biggest sport in the world, in this country and it’s a criminal act against the fans, simple as that.
"They are bottle merchants, you never hear from the owners of these clubs. They are absolute bottle merchants – they’ve got no voice.
“And they’ll probably hide in a few weeks and say it was nothing to do with them and they were only talking about it.
"It’s pure greed. They are impostors. They are impostors. The owners of this club [United], the owners of Liverpool, the owners of Chelsea, the owners of Manchester City are nothing to do with football in this country."
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