THE European Super League lies in tatters this evening as Chelsea and Manchester City QUIT with Arsenal set to follow.
Uefa and Prime MinisterBoris Johnson joined in the chorus of joy as the ESL plans crumbled, while Manchester United confirmed executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is QUITTING "at the end of 2021".
It is also believed that Atletico Madrid have pulled out of the 12-club rebel league, while Barcelona have said they will put the proposal to their fans before deciding.
And in a statement on the Red Devils' official website, Woodward said: “I am extremely proud to have served United and it has been an honour to work for the world’s greatest football club for the past 16 years.
“The club is well positioned for the future and it will be difficult to walk away at the end of the year.
“I will treasure the memories from my time at Old Trafford, during a period when we won the Europa League, the FA Cup and the EFL Cup. I am proud of the regeneration of the club’s culture and our return to the Manchester United way of playing."
United co-chairman Joel Glazer said: “Ed Woodward has served the club with great distinction. On behalf of everyone at United I would like to place on record our sincere thanks for his tireless work and dedication.
“His contribution to the club has been massive, and he will always be welcome at Old Trafford as a part of the Manchester United family.”
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In what will be a potentially fatal blow to the £4.6billion scheme, Man City chiefs decided they could no longer be party to the plans that have rocked football to its very foundations.
And in a brief statement, the club confirmed: "Manchester City Football Club can confirm that it has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League."
A high level source with knowledge of the Super League company confirmed that City have sent a letter enacting the process of withdrawing from the initiative.
When asked to confirm if they had withdrawn, City said they could not comment for legal reasons.
UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin welcomed the withdrawal of Manchester City from the breakaway closed league project. He said,
“I am delighted to welcome City back to the European football family.
“They have shown great intelligence in listening to the many voices – most notably their fans – that have spelled out the vital benefits that the current system has for the whole of European football; from the world beating Champions League final right down to a young player’s first coaching session at a grassroots club.
“As I said at the UEFA Congress, it takes courage to admit a mistake but I have never doubted that they had the ability and common sense to make that decision.
“City are a real asset for the game and I am delighted to be working with them for a better future for the European game.”
City were the last of the initial six Prem clubs, and the 12th in all, to sign up to the plan hatched by Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United and funded by US investment giant JP Morgan.
Like Chelsea, who are in the process of preparing their withdrawal documents, the Etihad outfit were understood to feel they had no option other than to join the breakaway.
That was despite both clubs’ hierarchies harbouring doubts over the project.
But the fear of missing out on a huge tranche of the initial £3bn joining pot and minimum £130m per year on offer saw both clubs take a bite out of the carrot.
City’s concerns have grown over the past 24 hours, with the backlash intensifying as fans groups castigated the rebel clubs.
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They were also slammed by their Prem rivals, with the League, FA and Government lining up to vow the clubs would simply not be allowed to walk away and join the elite cartel clubs.
And an extra blow to the crumbling project came from Barcelona, who announced they would not join the Super League unless there was a vote of members to approve the move.
President Joan Laporta said: "Barcelona will NOT join the Super League until our socios (fan members) vote for it.
“It's their club, so it's their decision.”
As the news broke, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "The decision by Chelsea and Manchester City is – if confirmed – absolutely the right one and I commend them for it.
"I hope the other clubs involved in the European Super League will follow their lead."
The European Super League was announced on Sunday night and met with a furious backlash from fans, players and authorities.
Meanwhile, pundit Graeme Souness posed a huge question for the 'Big Six'.
He told Football Daily: "How do they get themselves out of that?" Graeme Souness thinks it will be tricky for the 'Big 6' Premier League teams to get out of the contracts of the 'European Super League'
The plans have also been criticised by the likes of Boris Johnson and Prince William.
The Sun reported earlier today how three Prem teams that signed up were considering pulling out.
A massive fan backlash is believed to be one of the major factors behind half of the six Premier League teams involved having second thoughts.
In total, 12 European teams have announced the setting up of a new franchise league in which they will be free of relegation fears.
Bild claimed there could be as many as three Premier League clubs getting cold feet and that if they break ranks it will bring the whole idea crashing down before it even gets going.
The remaining 14 top-flight clubs met today to discuss how to fight back against the proposals and how they will challenge the six rebels.
A Premier League statement said: "The Premier League, alongside The FA, met with clubs today to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal.
"The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.
"The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those Shareholders involved to account under its rules.
"The League will continue to work with key stakeholders including fan groups, Government, Uefa, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately.
"The Premier League would like to thank fans and all stakeholders for the support they have shown this week on this significant issue. The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people."
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