Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham have all quit the European Club Association after the English trio joined nine other clubs in creating a Super League.
On Sunday night, 12 European clubs stunned the football world by announcing a breakaway Super League that would replace their involvements in the UEFA Champions League.
United, Arsenal, and Tottenham, along with fellow English sides Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, were one of the dozen clubs who went against the ECA’s desire not to pursue the breakaway league.
And various reports claim United have now quit the organisation representing the 246 leading clubs across Europe, with chief executive Ed Woodward leaving his role on UEFA’s Professional Football Strategy Council.
Arsenal and Tottenham are said to have quit the ECA as well, with Gunners chief Vinai Venkatesham standing down from his role on the organisation’s board.
It was reported on Sunday night by The Athletic that Juventus have also quit the ECA, with owner Andrea Agnelli leaving his role as President on the ECA and his position on UEFA’s Executive Committee.
Manchester United owner Joel Glazer is one of the four vice-chairmen at the top of the European Super League hierarchy.
Juventus chief Agnelli, Liverpool’s John W Henry and Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke are also deputies to ESL chairman Florentino Perez of Real Madrid.
In a statement announcing the European Super League, Glazer said: ‘By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.’
The Super League will see clubs play midweek European matches in a 20-team league. The 12 founding members of the league will qualify automatically for the tournament each year along with three others, with five spaces available for other teams to qualify into.
Teams will be split into two groups of ten, with the top three teams from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals – with play-offs to decide the other two teams reaching the knockout rounds.
The creation of the European Super League has been met with serious criticism from the ECA, FIFA, UEFA, the Premier League and the Football Association – who have all threatened to take legal action against the teams.
Before the tournament was announced on Sunday night, the ECA put out a statement saying it ‘strongly opposes’ the creation of a Super League.
Several senior football figures and pundits have also criticised the ‘closed’ tournament, including the likes of Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards.
Out of the teams who were listed in Forbes’ top-ten most valuable football teams in the world last week, only Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have not signed up to the Super League.
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