Arsenal told Super League bid ‘absolutely disgraceful’

Attempts by the ‘Big Six’ to build bridges with the other 14 Premier League clubs over the European Super League have not gone down well, with one chief executive describing Arsenal’s behaviour as “absolutely disgraceful”.

On Thursday, Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham confirmed to a fans’ forum that he telephoned the other 14 clubs to say sorry for the Gunners’ decision to join the Super League.

He admitted Arsenal made a terrible decision and are working hard to rebuild their reputation.

However, he received what can be best described as a lukewarm reaction, with one Premier League chief executive saying Venkatesham made a bad situation worse by apologising and then trying to explain why Arsenal had signed up to the breakaway competition.

Another was so angry he told Venkatesham that Arsenal’s behaviour had been “absolutely disgraceful”.



The proposed breakaway European Super League has collapsed








2:50

Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett explains the potential sanctions the ‘Big Six’ clubs could face from the Premier League following their attempts to join the breakaway European Super League

Earlier in the day, Mikel Arteta revealed Venkatesham and Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke had apologised to him and the players.

In an open letter, the Arsenal board told supporters that “we made a mistake, and we apologise for it”, and when asked if the same message had been passed on to him, Arteta said: “Yes, starting from Vinai, the ownership and everybody that is involved in the process.

“All of them with the right intentions to defend the club, and put the club in the best possible position for now and for the future. But accepting that the way it’s been handled has had terrible consequences and that it was a mistake.

“I have to really respect that when people have genuine intentions to do the best for this football club but, if it’s not the right thing to do, they can apologise. I think the players, staff and everybody working at the club has to accept that and move on.”



Mikel Arteta (PA)








0:59

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confirms he received apologies from owner Stan Kroenke and Venkatesham over the club’s aborted Super League plans

Meanwhile, Josh Kroenke says his father’s company Kroenke Sports & Entertainment will cover the costs related to leaving the Super League.

Venkatesham says the costs are “nowhere near” the £8m reported in newspapers on Thursday.

Kroenke said if Arsenal are invited to join a Super League again, they will consult with fans first.

He revealed they decided to join the breakaway after they asked themselves what would be worse – a European Super League or a European Super League without Arsenal?

Smith: ‘Ignorant’ ESL plan points to Kroenke’s absence

Alan Smith has labelled Arsenal’s owners “ignorant” following their involvement in the doomed Super League proposals, but insists he is not surprised by a decision indicative of Kroenke’s distant ownership of the club.

The fact Arsenal were involved came as no surprise to former Gunners striker Smith, who accused Kroenke – majority shareholder since April 2011 – of failing to grasp the European sporting mindset and focusing on figures rather than forging a relationship with supporters.

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke
Image:
Arsenal’s “ignorant” involvement in the doomed European Super League proposals was indicative of Stan Kroenke’s distant ownership, says Alan Smith

“I wasn’t surprised Arsenal were involved, given they have an American owner, an absent owner, who rarely says anything regarding the football club,” Smith told Sky Sports.

“There is very little bond between Stan Kroenke and the club. He rarely comes over. His son has a more hands-on connection with the club, but Josh is new to the game, he’s not been brought up around football.

“Kroenke obviously has seen that model work in the States with the NFL, NBA, and along with the Liverpool and Manchester United owners, they have seen how profitable it could be. I don’t think they understand how the European mind thinks about our sporting culture. It was ignorant not to appreciate there would be such a backlash. It beggars belief.

“For Stan, it’s about figures on the page and profits and losses. There is no emotion there. Myself and the majority of Arsenal fans are not surprised he jumped into it, but so did some other clubs. Maybe they had some misgivings and had to be persuaded, but they were persuaded and that’s the damning thing.”

Let’

Arsenal vs Everton on Sky: Auba, Lacazette out

Team news and stats ahead of Arsenal vs Everton in the Premier League on Friday (kick-off 8pm).

Team news

Arsenal will be without forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for the visit of Everton.

Captain Aubameyang is still recovering from malaria, while Lacazette is out with a hamstring injury.

On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard is a doubt with an ankle injury while defenders David Luiz and Kieran Tierney (both knee) remain sidelined.

Everton are boosted by the return of five players. Leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin, defender Yerry Mina and midfielder Andre Gomes could all come straight back into the side.

Midfielder Fabian Delph and forward Bernard are also fit again, leaving just Abdoulaye Doucoure (ankle) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (knee) on the injured list.

How to follow



MW33 PL Preview








2:23

A preview of Matchweek 33 from the Premier League as Arsenal face Everton, West Ham take on Chelsea and Leeds host Manchester United

Arsenal vs Everton will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 7.30pm; kick-off 8pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.


Friday 23rd April 7:30pm


Kick off 8:00pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

Last time out…



ARSENAL 1-1 FULHAM








3:13

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s draw with Fulham



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3:08

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s draw with Tottenham Hotspur

Opta stats

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 24 Premier League home games against Everton (W20 D4) since a 1-2 loss at Highbury in January 1996.
  • Everton are looking to complete their first league double over Arsenal since the 1985-86 season, following their 2-1 win at Goodison Park in December.
  • This will be the 200th top-flight meeting between Arsenal and Everton – the Gunners have won 98 of the 199 so far, more than any side has beaten another in top-flight history.
  • Arsenal have never lost in nine previous Premier League games played on Fridays (W7 D2), the most a team has played on a specific day of the week without ever losing. These games have produced 42 goals in total (4.7 per game), with the Gunners scoring 28 and conceding 14.
  • Following their 2-2 draw with Spurs last week, Everton will become just the second team to play on consecutive Fridays in the Premier League, after Arsenal did so in April 2004 (4-2 v Liverpool, 5-0 v Leeds).
  • Arsenal have kept just three clean sheets at home in the Premier League this season, with only Everton, Sheffield United (two each) and Newcastle (one) keeping fewer. The Gunners have conceded the first goal in each of their last four Premier League home games.
  • Everton’s last three league games have all ended level, with the Toffees last drawing four consecutive Premier League matches back in November 2012 under David Moyes.
  • Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in all three of his Premier League home appearances against Everton (4 goals in total), including his first ever strike for the Gunners in February 2018.
  • Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson has been involved in five goals in his last seven Premier League games (3 goals, 2 assists), as many as in his previous 23 in the competition.
  • Arsenal’s Nicolas Pépé has been involved in six goals in 24 Premier League appearances this season (5 goals, 1 assist), compared to nine goals in 16 games in all other competitions this term (5 goals, 4 assists).

Let’

Smith: ‘Ignorant’ ESL plan points to Kroenke’s absence

Alan Smith has labelled Arsenal’s owners “ignorant” following their involvement in the doomed European Super League proposals, but insists he is not surprised by a decision indicative of Stan Kroenke’s distant ownership of the club.

Arsenal, along with five other Premier League clubs, announced on Sunday evening their plans to be founder members of a new European Super League.

The proposals drew widespread and unanimous condemnation from supporters and the wider footballing community to the extent that, by Tuesday evening, the Gunners – as well as Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham – withdrew from the process.

Although Arsenal apologised to their supporters in a statement confirming they had quit the project, the wedge between fans and the club’s owners has already grown larger, with protests against Stan Kroenke planned outside the Emirates Stadium ahead of Friday’s visit of Everton.

The fact Arsenal were involved came as no surprise to former Gunners striker Smith, who accused Kroenke – majority shareholder since April 2011 – of failing to grasp the European sporting mindset and focusing on figures rather than forging a relationship with supporters.

‘No emotion with absent Kroenke’

“I wasn’t surprised Arsenal were involved, given they have an American owner, an absent owner, who rarely says anything regarding the football club,” Smith told Sky Sports.

“There is very little bond between Stan Kroenke and the club. He rarely comes over. His son has a more hands-on connection with the club, but Josh is new to the game, he’s not been brought up around football.



Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke








1:44

Tim Payton from the Arsenal Supporters Trust says he remains unhappy about Kroenke’s conduct – despite the club’s apology and withdrawal from the European Super League

“Kroenke obviously has seen that model work in the States with the NFL, NBA, and along with the Liverpool and Manchester United owners, they have seen how profitable it could be. I don’t think they understand how the European mind thinks about our sporting culture. It was ignorant not to appreciate there would be such a backlash. It beggars belief.

“For Stan, it’s about figures on the page and profits and losses. There is no emotion there. Myself and the majority of Arsenal fans are not surprised he jumped into it, but so did some other clubs. Maybe they had some misgivings and had to be persuaded, but they were persuaded and that’s the damning thing.”

I was depressed about the whole situation. I was scared stiff about the fact these institutions of English football could abandon the structure in this country and go their own way.

Alan Smith on European Super League proposals

Arsenal traditions live on – but not at the top

From Herbert Chapman and the Marble Halls at Highbury, to the late David Rocastle’s poignant quotation, ‘Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent’, few clubs ooze class and tradition as much as the Arsenal.

Sunday’s confirmation of the Gunners’ involvement in breakaway plans for a new European Super League was an assailment on the very values upon which the club is built and, according to Smith, symptomatic of the disconnect between the club and its owners.

“Arsenal is a different football club now, there is no question about that,” added Smith, who won two League titles, the FA Cup, League Cup, and Cup Winners’ Cup during his eight-year stay in north London.


Friday 23rd April 7:30pm


Kick off 8:00pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

“The make-up of the boardroom has changed radically. It was under the chairmanship of the Hill-Wood family for many decades, but, as with a lot of clubs, things have changed at boardroom level.

“There are obviously people at the club still trying to uphold those traditions, but I don’t think the people at the top pay much regard to that.

“They [the Kroenke’s] probably looked at Arsenal’s reputation [when buying the club] as a good one, and that appealed to them as something to have in their portfolio. I don’t think it goes much beyond that.”



The Super League








3:30

A timeline of how the Super League fell apart as all six Premier League clubs withdrew from the competition in a chaotic 48 hours

‘Arsenal fans want answers and accountability’

Kroenke’s reluctance to engage with supporters has earned him the nickname ‘Silent Stan’ during his time in charge of Arsenal, and his chequered relationship has deteriorated further following the Super League debacle.

With owner-manager relations at an all-time low, Smith has called for Kroenke to communicate with fans and reinstall some accountability after his compulsory purchase of shares in 2018.

“The Kroenkes could take a more active role and be more engaged with the day-to-day workings of the club,” he said. “People say Kroenke hasn’t invested any of his own money, that would have been nice. But it goes further than that.

“The fact he bought everybody’s shares out when he already had 90 per cent, he could have left them alone but he compulsory purchased the rest and that was such a shame because it was a chance for some of the fans to have their say at the AGMs and have a bit of accountability on the top.



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2:26

Liverpool owner John W Henry apologises to the club’s fans following their withdrawal from the European Super League. Twitter: @LFC

“But he hoovered those up, so he didn’t really have to be accountable or answer any difficult questions. You just want to see that distance closed and for there to be a greater connection, but I cannot see that happening.”

Smith added: “J W Henry [Liverpool’s owner] gave a video apology, it was received in different ways, with some saying it wasn’t sincere and that it was something he had to do. But you just never hear Stanley Kroenke address the Arsenal fans.

“Let’s hear why he felt the Super League was a good idea, let’s hear him talk about his future plans for the club, where he sees it heading. Arsenal fans are in the dark about all these things, they just don’t know how he feels and what he wants to happen with Arsenal.”

Let’

All six Premier League clubs withdraw from Super League

The European Super League appears to have collapsed after all six of the Premier League sides that agreed to join reversed their decision on Tuesday night.

News broke ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League fixture at home to Brighton that the club were preparing to withdraw from the new competition. Blues fans had gathered outside Stamford Bridge to protest against the Super League.

Shortly afterwards, Manchester City became the first Premier League side to publicly confirm they were pulling out of the breakaway competition, with a statement reading: “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.”

Later on Tuesday evening, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham announced they were also backing out of the plans.

Tuesday’s timeline – how the Super League collapsed

  • 8:30am – Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol tells Good Morning Sports Fans that he understands the Super League could collapse
  • 10am – FIFA president Gianni Infantino reiterates the governing body’s ‘strong disapproval’ of the plans
  • 10:45am – SSN understands cracks begin to emerge among the Premier League sides committed to the Super League
  • 12pm – Senior figure at one of the breakaway Premier League clubs insists they ‘will not back down’
  • 12:30pm – Prime Minister Boris Johnson says ‘no action is off the table’ in stopping the Super League
  • 1:30pm – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola criticises the Super League, saying ‘it is not sport’
  • 2:15pm – 14 Premier League clubs ‘vigorously reject’ Super League plans
  • 5:30pm – Chelsea fans begin protesting outside Stamford Bridge
  • 6:30pm – Chelsea’s performance and technical advisor, Petr Cech, urges fans to let team into stadium; kick-off against Brighton delayed
  • 7pm – News breaks that Chelsea are preparing to withdraw from the Super League
  • 7:30pm – Manchester City follow Chelsea in withdrawing from Super League
  • 8pm – Manchester United executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, steps down
  • 9pm – Liverpool players come out against the Super League on social media
  • 11pm – Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham withdraw from the Super League
  • 1am (Wed) – Chelsea officially confirm they are also withdrawing from the Super League
  • 1am (Wed) – Super League says it will ‘reconsider’ proposals

The Super League responded in the early hours of Wednesday morning, saying it would “reconsider” its plans, adding that the English clubs had been forced to withdraw due to the “pressure put on them”.



Petr Cech pleads with protesters outside Stamford Bridge








0:37

Petr Cech pleads with Chelsea fans to allow the team coaches to get through as many gathered to protest against the Super League proposals

“The European Super League is convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change,” it said.

“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due to the pressure put on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations.

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Chelsea’s home game against Brighton on Tuesday night was delayed after the club’s fans protested against the Super League outside Stamford Bridge

“Given the current circumstances, we shall reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project, always having in mind our goals of offering fans the best experiences possible, while enhancing solidarity payments for the entire football community.”

In a statement to their supporters confirming their withdrawal, Arsenal said: “We made a mistake, and we apologise for it.

“We know it will take time to restore your faith in what we are trying to achieve here at Arsenal but let us be clear that the decision to be part of the Super League was driven by our desire to protect Arsenal, the club you love, and to support the game you love through greater solidarity and financial stability.”

In their statement, Manchester United said: “We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders. We remain committed to working with others across the football community to come up with sustainable solutions to the long-term challenges facing the game.”

It was also announced on Tuesday evening that Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, would stand down at the end of the year. He was heavily criticised by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin for his role in the formation of the Super League on Monday.

In confirming their withdrawal from the plans, Liverpool stated: “In recent days, the club has received representations from various key stakeholders, both internally and externally, and we would like to thank them for their valuable contributions.”

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy told his club’s website: “We regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal. We felt it was important that our club participated in the development of a possible new structure that sought to better ensure financial fair play and financial sustainability whilst delivering significantly increased support for the wider football pyramid.”

Chelsea, who are understood to have backtracked on the Super League plans because of the overwhelming negative worldwide reaction, were the final Premier League side to officially confirm their withdrawal.

A statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning said: “We have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the club, our supporters or the wider football community.”

The Blues were also believed to feel that reaction to the Super League plans was in danger of overshadowing the work they carry out in the community.

The competition’s announcement on Sunday, made by 12 founding clubs – the Premier League’s ‘big six’, plus Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan – was met with widespread condemnation.



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4:19

Ahead of Chelsea’s draw with Brighton, Thomas Tuchel said he did not know anything about off-the-field matters but trusted the club’s hierarchy

Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to “thwart” the competition, likening it to a “cartel”, while the other 14 Premier League clubs rejected the proposal and UEFA threatened potential sanctions on the rebel group.

FA: This has unified us all

The Football Association welcomed the news of the English clubs’ withdrawal from the Super League, saying: “English football has a proud history based on opportunity for all clubs and the game has been unanimous in its disapproval of a closed league. It was a proposition that, by design, could have divided our game; but instead, it has unified us all.

“We would like to thanks the fans in particular for their influential and unequivocal voice during this time, holding true the guiding principles of football. It is a powerful reminder that the game is, and always will be, for fans.

“We would also like to thank the Prime Minister, Secretary of State and Sports Minister for their unwavering and critical support against these plans.”

PM welcomes Super League collapse

On Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he “welcomed” the Premier League sides’ decision, adding: “This is the right result for football fans, clubs, and communities across the country. We must continue to protect our cherished national game.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden warned the decision by the six breakaway Premier League clubs to quit the Super League is not the end of the matter, and that a wider look at the governance of the sport is still needed.

“It’s very important that we don’t see this as the end of the process,” Dowden told Sky News on Wednesday. “What this is highlighting, more than ever, is the need to look at the wider governance of football.”

Ceferin: PL clubs back in the fold

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin had reacted with fury to the Super League proposals, and branded some of the club executives behind the plans as “snakes and liars”.



UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin speaks during the 45th UEFA Congress in Montreux (AP)








0:28

Earlier on Tuesday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said the Premier League’s ‘big six’ made a ‘huge mistake’ by signing up to the Super League

However, after urging the Premier League sides to reconsider their “mistake” earlier on Tuesday, Ceferin welcomed their decision to withdraw from the competition.

He said: “I said yesterday that it is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake. 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.”

Let’

‘Big Six’ club chiefs asked to step down in PL meeting

Executives from clubs which sparked a civil war in English football by joining the now-abandoned European Super League have been handed an ultimatum to step down from key Premier League sub-committees.

Sky News has learned Richard Masters, the Premier League chief executive, contacted executives on Wednesday including Bruce Buck, the Chelsea chairman, and Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal chief executive, to request they relinquish their roles on the working groups.

Club sources said Mr Buck, who is a member of the Premier League’s audit and remuneration committee, and Mr Venkatesham, who sits on the Club Strategic Advisory Group (CSAG), had been asked by Mr Masters to step down voluntarily or face being removed against their will.

Ferran Soriano, who runs Manchester City, was also asked to step down from CSAG, according to insiders.

The Premier League is also seeking the removal of the Manchester United and Liverpool executives Ed Woodward and Tom Werner from its Club Broadcast Advisory Group, the sources added.

Tottenham Hotspur, the sixth club involved in the planned defection, is not thought to be represented on the affected Premier League committees. The request from Mr Masters underlines the potentially protracted consequences of the ‘Big Six’ clubs’ efforts to join a continental league, which would have resulted in England’s six biggest clubs each receiving windfalls worth hundreds of millions of pounds.










3:13

Gary Neville says Ed Woodward’s departure was inevitable after he resigned as the club’s executive vice-chairman amid the apparent collapse of the Super League plans

All six withdrew from the new competition on Tuesday following a vitriolic backlash from fans, players and coaches, and the threat of sporting and legislative sanctions from football federations and governments.

Mr Woodward announced on Tuesday evening his long tenure at Old Trafford would come to an end later this year, triggering speculation the Glazer family may seek to sell its remaining stake in the club after more than 15 years.

The Premier League’s request to the executives to step down from key working groups followed a meeting between the 14 other ‘shareholders’, in which they expressed bitterness at the duplicity of the clubs which had been in secret talks to join the Super League.

The Daily Mail reported some of the 14 clubs had complained the Super League clubs executives had been “acting like spies” during meetings of the relevant Premier League sub-committees.

At least one of the club executives asked to step down on Wednesday is said to have reacted angrily to the suggestion.



LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Ed Woodward executive vice-chairman of Manchester United is seen the leaving the ground after the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 17, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)








1:28

James Cooper reports after it was confirmed Ed Woodward will step down from his role as executive vice-chairman at Manchester United at the end of 2021

Mr Masters is understood to have sought a voluntary decision from the ‘Big Six’ executives but warned they risked being forcibly removed from the working groups if they did not agree to step down.

Premier League executives are ultimately keen to heal the rifts which have simmered in recent months over potential reforms but which erupted into open warfare at the weekend.

However, Mr Masters’ request for the executives’ removal underlines the fact that divisions between the ‘Big Six’ and the other clubs are likely to be exposed for some time.

After Sky News revealed details of the Super League negotiations last October, Mr Woodward told Wall Street analysts he was unaware of the project and his attention was focused on reforming existing European club competitions.

Formal confirmation of the Super League’s existence on Sunday night sparked fury throughout European football, with an unprecedented alignment of political and sporting figures against the breakaway from UEFA.

A Premier League spokeswoman declined to comment on Wednesday.

Henry, Glazer and Soriano apologise for Super League involvement

Liverpool owner John W Henry was the first of those involved in plans to form a breakaway Super League to apologise.

In a video message on Wednesday morning, Henry – who bought the club in 2010 – took responsibility for the decision to join the Super League and admitted he had ‘let down’ the fans.



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2:26

Liverpool owner John W Henry apologises to the club’s fans following their withdrawal from the European Super League. Twitter: @LFC

He said: “I want to apologise to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours.

“It goes without saying but should be said that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans. No one ever thought differently in England. Over these 48 hours, you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you.”

Later on Wednesday, United co-chairman Joel Glazer “apologised unreservedly for the unrest” caused by the Super League, in an open letter to fans.

Glazer, who was unveiled as Super League vice-chairman when the bombshell announcement was made on Sunday, admits he and the rest of United’s owners “got it wrong” and are now focused on making amends.



Manchester United joint chairmen Joel Glazer (right) and Avram Glazer (left) in the stands during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.








2:03

Manchester United owner Joel Glazer has written an apology to the club’s fans admitting ‘we got it wrong’ over the breakaway Super League plans

In a rare moment of communication with the supporters, Glazer wrote: “Although the wounds are raw and I understand that it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our fans and learning from the message you delivered with such conviction.

“We continue to believe that European football needs to become more sustainable throughout the pyramid for the long-term. However, we fully accept that the Super League was not the right way to go about it.

“In seeking to create a more stable foundation for the game, we failed to show enough respect for its deep-rooted traditions – promotion, relegation, the pyramid – and for that we are sorry.”

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano wrote to the club’s supporters to apologise for their involvement in European Super League proposals.

AP - Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of Manchester City and Ferran Soriano (right), Chief Executive Officer pictured in 2019
Image:
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of Manchester City with Ferran Soriano in 2019

In an email sent out on Wednesday, Soriano wrote: “As always, when we make choices and decisions, we do so with the best interests of the club in mind and we believed that being part of such an initiative could give us a voice that might be imperative to our future ability to succeed and grow.

“In making that choice we failed to remind ourselves of the unbreakable link between the passion of our fans and the right to have the opportunity to earn success.

“It is a truth that is fundamental to the DNA of Manchester City and the board deeply regrets taking a decision that lost sight of the historic values of the club.

“We made a mistake and we sincerely apologise to our fans for the disappointment, frustration and anguish caused by the last 72 hours.”

Podcast Special: Fans 1-0 Not-so-Super League

High-powered, heavily-funded and years in the making, it lasted barely two days.

In a podcast special, Jasper Taylor is joined by Gerard Brand and Ron Walker to discuss the rapid break-up of the breakaway European Super League.

The panel discuss why football is more than just a business or entertainment sport, how this was a fan victory we should celebrate, and what the future holds for football.

We also hear from Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Kaveh Solhekol and Bryan Swanson on another monumental 48 hours.

Let’