What happened: After the announcement of the European Super League on Sunday, fans and pundits alike amplified their opposition to the tournament on all possible platforms. Many protests emerged outside stadiums across Europe as fans took to the streets to oppose the creation of the tournament. Along with the on-ground response, various government officials also heavily opposed the move. Boris Johnson described the tournament as a “cartel” and threatened to use a legislative bomb to stop the venture. FIFA president Gianni Infantino also said that the participants would have to “live with the grave consequences” of their decision.
The Reaction: The strong reaction by the fans and officials against the blockbuster tournament paved the way for players and coaches to voice their concerns too. Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw of Manchester United expressed their dissatisfaction with their club’s decision to join the “cartel” style tournament, which led to Chief Executive of Manchester United, Ed Woodward tendering his resignation at the English club. Furthermore, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola also commented on the league lacking the principles of sport.
Team Withdrawals: Owing to the strong criticism worldwide and statements of sanctions and punishment by world leaders, six out of the 12 invited teams (all English), have withdrawn from the tournament. Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool issued statements from the 20th-21st of April. Arsenal FC went as far as issuing a public apology on Twitter stating “As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake, and we apologize for it.”
Fan Reaction: With half the teams refusing to participate, the practicality of the tournament is in question. Fans and pundits celebrated on Twitter throughout the night of the 20th of April as news came in of clubs withdrawing from the competition. Football fans across the globe termed the collapse of the super league as a victory for the game of football and a defeat to corporate greed.
Current reaction and possible consequences: According to the FA, the board and the Premier League are adamant that rather than punishing the six clubs who entered the European Super League, action should be taken against the individuals who orchestrated the plan. On the other side of the spectrum, The Super League is planning to file a lawsuit against the six clubs who withdrew from the tournament according to Spanish Journalist Josep Pedrero.
In an official statement, the European Super League expressed dissatisfaction at the exit of the English clubs, and also criticized the current European football structure, hoping to continue their efforts for the new tournament.