Report: Chelsea, Man City Expected to Withdraw from Super League amid Backlash

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

The Chelsea Football Club badge at stadium Stamford Bridge, in London, Monday, April 19, 2021, Chelsea is one of the English soccer Premier League teams who are reported to be part of a proposed European Super League. European clubs planning to start a breakaway Super League have told the leaders of FIFA and UEFA that they have begun legal action aimed at fending off threats to block the competition. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Chelsea and Manchester City are reportedly set to withdraw from the proposed European Super League.

Dan Roan of BBC Sport and Ben Rumsby of the Daily Telegraph reported Chelsea as the first club to withdraw from the league. Manchester City are reportedly set to follow, per Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph.

Chelsea and Man City were two of the 12 teams to announce the formation of the new league Sunday, featuring the top six clubs in England as well as major clubs from Spain and Italy, including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus.

Matt Lawton of The Timereported that the "majority" of those clubs are now set to back out of the Super League, including Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

The proposal has been met with significant backlash from fans, including in-person protests.

Former Chelsea star and current front-office staff member Petr Cech had to plead with fans to let the team bus through Tuesday ahead of the club's Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion:

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Petr Cech pleading the Chelsea fans to allow the team bus in. 😳 🎥 @phillipjames4 https://t.co/hg77CbJgWo


Petr Cech pleading with Chelsea fans to let the team bus in. https://t.co/BzPtUU7JC9

Blues supporters showed their excitement after news of the plans to withdraw:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

The scene at Stamford Bridge as it’s reported Chelsea preparing to withdraw https://t.co/meZpntKiBc

The Super League is expected to provide a new European competition opposite the Champions League, featuring the biggest clubs in the world. The backlash came from the automatic inclusion of the founding members, rather than having to earn the way into the competition.

There is also no relegation like in the domestic leagues.

"It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist," Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Tuesday, per Rob Dawson of ESPN.

UEFA also fought back against the clubs involved, with president Aleksander Ceferin saying the players who compete in the Super League would be banned from the UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup.

There could be even higher stakes for Chelsea and Manchester City as each remain in contention to win the 2021 Champions League title.

Jesper Moller, a member of the UEFA executive committee, told DR Sport (via Joe Prince-Wright of NBC Sports) that Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid would all be thrown out of the current Champions League semifinals.

The two English sides have seemingly determined the downsides are too great and will pull out of the Super League, which would be the first domino to fall. Martin Robinson and Mike Keegan of the Daily Mail reported more Premier League sides could soon follow.