European Super League: All six English teams to withdraw from breakaway competition

Video report by ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott

All six English clubs in the European Super League have withdrawn from plans to participate in the breakaway competition.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal have all bowed to fan pressure to withdraw from the controversial competition - just 48 hours after the league was formally announced.

Reports of Chelsea's plans to leave the European Super League emerged shortly before their evening kickoff against Brighton, with the club drawing up documentation on Tuesday night.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham all issued statements confirming their plans not to participate in the European Super League.

Which teams were originally involved in the European Super League?

England: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham

Spain: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid

Italy: Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is understood to have driven the decision to leave, having listened to fan protests and opted to withdraw from the new European league plans.

Stamford Bridge chiefs were only thought to have signed up as a founder member of the Super League in order not to be left behind by the rogue breakaway.

Fans gathered outside Stamford Bridge ahead of their team's match against Brighton on Tuesday evening.

What does the English club's withdrawal from the ESL mean for the future of football? Steve Scott explains

Former goalkeeper and technical director Petr Cech was seen remonstrating with protesters outside the stadium, urging them to let the team buses through ahead of their 8pm kickoff tonight.

"Let people sort this out, this is not the way. Let the bus go in," the former goalkeeper said.

Manchester City followed shortly after, with Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin welcoming News that City had begun the process of withdrawing from the Super League.

“I am delighted to welcome City back to the European football family,” the Slovenian said.

“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.”

That was followed by the announcement that Manchester United vice chief executive Ed Woodward would leave his role at the end of 2021.

Fans protest against outside Stamford Bridge Credit: Ian West/PA

Earlier on Tuesday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said: “It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist.

"It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed, it is not a sport where it doesn’t matter when you lose.”

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne also voiced his concerns of the European Super League on social media.

He posted a picture of a statement on Twitter: “This man comes out a little town out of Belgium dreaming of playing at the highest stage possible. I’ve represented the Belgium, German and English league. And also proudly represented my country.

“I have worked and competed against everybody trying to win the ultimate. But the most important word in this is COMPETING.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also spoke out against the proposals following his team's 1-1 draw with Leeds on Monday night.

Chelsea fans voice their anger at European Super League plans outside Stamford Bridge

The German had previously spoken out against the proposed idea of a breakaway league in 2019 and told Sky Sports his views have not altered.

“It didn’t change. My opinion didn’t change,” he said ahead of the game at Leeds.

“I heard the first time about it yesterday and when you are trying to prepare for a difficult game against Leeds, we got some information, not a lot, most of things you can read in newspapers or wherever.

“It is a tough one, people are not happy with that. I can understand that, but I cannot say a lot more about it because we were not involved in any processes – not the players, not me.

Jordan Henderson made his feelings and those of his team-mates abundantly clear on Twitter.

He wrote: “We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen. This is our collective position.

“Our commitment to this football club and its supporters is absolute and unconditional.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Liverpool captain on the night James Milner was unequivocal when asked for his views on the competition.

“I can only say my personal opinion, I don’t like it and hopefully it doesn’t happen. I can only imagine what has been said about it and I probably agree with most of it,” he told Sky Sports.

What exactly is being proposed?

The plan – which also includes the Spanish sides Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona and Italian clubs AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan – has support from investment bank JP Morgan, which will provide debt financing for the competition.

It is understood it will underwrite around six billion US dollars (£4.3 billion) in loans for teams involved.

It would see the breakaway teams create a competition to rival the Champions League, but it would not feature relegation or promotion.

Teams would play each other in midweek while still competing in their domestic leagues.

Everton decried the “preposterous arrogance” of Super League clubs. Everton’s nine titles are the fourth most by a team in the history of the English top division, and the club from Merseyside was considered part of the country’s elite in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“The backlash is understandable and deserved — and has to be listened to,” Everton’s board of directors said in a statement. “This preposterous arrogance is not wanted anywhere in football outside of the clubs that have drafted this plan.”

Everton’s majority owner, British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, has spent heavily in recent years in an effort to push the team, which is managed by Carlo Ancelotti, into the group stage of the Champions League for the first time.

West Ham is also pursuing a top-four finish to qualify for the Champions League for the first time. The east London club said the Super League was an “attack on sporting integrity, undermines competition."

In the fallout from Sunday's announcement, Boris Johnson has threatened to "drop a legislative bomb" on the breakaway league.

The PM told a round table discussion on the issue that the government "will not stand by while a small handful of owners create a closed shop", and suggested new laws could be brought in to block the breakaway competition.

"He reiterated his unwavering support for the football authorities and confirmed they have the government’s full backing to take whatever action necessary to put a stop to these plans," Number 10 said.

"He was clear that no action is off the table and the government is exploring every possibility, including legislative options, to ensure these proposals are stopped.

The prime minister said the decision made by Chelsea and Manchester is "absolutely the right one" following reports of their withdrawal from the Super League.

Mr Johnson said: "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."