The chairman of Juventus, Andrea Agnelli, admits the European Super League proposal is dead following the withdrawal of all six Premier League clubs which had initially signed up as founder members.
Late last night it was confirmed that Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham had pulled out following widespread condemnation from supporters, players, managers and political parties from all sides.
Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan followed suit on Wednesday by confirming their withdrawal, while Juventus stopped short of formally leaving but admitted the possibility of it happening now are "limited". It leaves just Real Madrid and Barcelona as the clubs yet to perform their own u-turn.
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Asked if the plan can still go ahead, Agnelli told Reuters: "To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case."
It has been a dramatic 48 hours, and on Tuesday night the dominoes started to fall when it was reported that Chelsea were looking to withdraw, with fans demonstrating outside Stamford Bridge ahead of their Premier League game with Brighton. Other sides quickly joined them.
Agnelli has been one of the leaders of the rival competition to the Champions League, and while Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry fessed up to an error in judgement and apologised to their supporters, the Juventus chief is sure it was the right avenue to explore.
"I remain convinced of the beauty of that project," Agnelli said.
But admittedly ... I mean, I don't think that project is now still up and running.
Juventus have echoed their chairman's comments, claiming they are "convinced of the validity of the sporting, commercial and legal assumptions of the project", before conceding it cannot go ahead in the form it intended.
The European Super League is yet to be officially disbanded and the most recent statement from organisers said it would “reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project”.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin welcomed the u-turn form clubs turning their back on the new competition and said he was looking forward to healing divisions.
It is unclear whether the teams which were part of the breakaway, dubbed the ‘dirty dozen’, still face punishment from their domestic leagues and European football’s governing body.
“I said yesterday that it is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake,” Ceferin said.
“But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not just to our competitions but to the whole of the European game.
“The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this and move forward together.”
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