Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry has taken sole responsibility for the club signing up to the European Super League (ESL), apologising to fans and admitting he has let them down.
The six Premier League teams who signed up to the widely criticised project - the others being Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham - all pulled out late on Tuesday following pressure from players, supporters, the UK government and other political parties.
Although the ESL says it will work to "reshape" the competition to rival the Champions League, it looks destined for failure following a dramatic u-turn. There are reports in Italy that Inter Milan and AC Milan could also pull out.
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"I want to apologise to all the fans, supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused for the past 48 hours," said Henry.
"It goes without saying, but it should be said, that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans.
Over these past 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you, I heard you. And I want to apologise to Jurgen (Klopp), to (CEO) Billy (Hogan), to the players, to everyone who work so hard at LFC to make our fans proud, they have absolutely no responsibility for this disruption.
"They were the most disrupted, and unfairly so, this is what hurts most. They love your club and work to make you proud every single day. I know the entire LFC team has the expertise, leadership and passion necessary to rebuild trust and help us move forward.
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"More than a decade ago when we signed up for the challenges associated with football we dreamed of what you dreamed of and we’ve worked hard to improve your club.
"Our work isn’t done and I hope you understand that even when we make mistakes, we’re trying to work in your club’s best interests.
In this endeavour, I’ve let you down. Again, I’m sorry and I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity brought forward over the past couple of days, it’s something I won’t forget and shows the power the fans have today and will rightly continue to have.
- All six Premier League clubs withdraw from European Super League
- Super League will 'reshape' after English clubs quit
- Woodward quits Manchester United
Henry is the first of the Premier League owners involved in the project to come out and publicly apologise for their part in the project, while Manchester United announced last night that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will step down from his role, though he will continue until the end of the year.
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