European Super League: Juventus still convinced by overall project as Milan withdraw

By Sports Desk April 21, 2021

Juventus remain convinced over the validity of a European Super League but admit the planned breakaway competition cannot possibly go ahead following a raft of withdrawals.

Milan followed Serie A rivals Inter in pulling out on Wednesday, as did Spanish side Atletico Madrid in a move welcomed by head coach Diego Simeone.

All six English teams – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – ended their involvement on Tuesday following widespread criticism of the proposal, including from some of their own players and coaches.

Juve president Andrea Agnelli confirmed to Reuters that the mass exodus of the Premier League contingent had effectively ended the possibility of a Super League going ahead – for now at least.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Bianconeri made clear the necessary procedures required for clubs to end their involvement have yet to be completed, as well as outlining how such a tournament still has merit from a sporting and commercial viewpoint.

"With reference to the press release issued by Juventus on April 19, relating to the project to create the Super League, and the subsequent public debate, the issuer specifies that it is aware of the request and intentions otherwise expressed by some clubs to withdraw from this project, although the necessary procedures under the agreement between the clubs have not been completed," a statement read.

"In this context, Juventus, while remaining convinced of the validity of the sporting, commercial and legal assumptions of the project, believes that it currently has limited possibilities of being completed in the form in which it was initially conceived.

"Juventus remains committed to building long-term value for the club and for the entire football movement."

Milan's U-turn came after taking into consideration the reaction from supporters to the tournament. The founding members would have been involved each season regardless of their performances in domestic leagues, a rule that received widespread condemnation.

"We accepted the invitation to participate in the Super League project with the genuine intention to deliver the best possible European competition for football fans around the world and in the best interest of the club and our own fans," Milan said in a statement.

"Change is not always easy, but evolution is necessary for progress, and the structures of European football have evolved and changed over the decades.

"However, the voices and the concerns of fans around the world have clearly been expressed about the Super League, and Milan must be sensitive to the voice of those who love this wonderful sport.

"We will continue to work hard to deliver a sustainable model for football."

Related items

  • Manchester United v Liverpool on schedule despite fresh fans protests Manchester United v Liverpool on schedule despite fresh fans protests

    Manchester United's rescheduled Premier League clash with Liverpool is set to go ahead on time after renewed fan protests were effectively controlled.

    The sides' original meeting on Sunday, May 2 was called off after supporters broke into Old Trafford and stormed the pitch as part of protests against United's ownership.

    Several police officers were injured during the ensuing clashes, which forced the postponement of the game on safety grounds.

    However, the rearranged fixture looks likely to go ahead after United, along with local police, took steps to prepare for fresh protests taking place on Thursday evening.

    Barriers were erected around Old Trafford to prevent fans from entering, while the United players arrived individually by car earlier in the day before taking a pre-match nap at the stadium.

    Liverpool, meanwhile, sent a decoy coach that was momentarily blocked by a group of fans, but ultimately arrived at a side of the ground clear of supporters and without issue.

    As such, it is currently expected that the game will kick off on time (8.15pm GMT).

    United's American owners have been the target of renewed ire from fans in the aftermath of failed plans to join a breakaway Super League alongside the Premier League's 'big six'.

    Consequently, United legend Roy Keane does not expect supporter anger at the Glazers to subside any time soon.

    He told Sky Sports: "Manchester United fans are not done with this, we saw some protests a few weeks ago, but I think there is still a lot to come. 

    "The concern is that when the fans can come back to the stadium, you could have 70,000 fans showing up at Old Trafford, frustrated with what happened. Things can get much worse."

    Keane's former United team-mate, Gary Neville, believes the ongoing protests are serving to damage the club's brand, which in turn should hurt the Glazers.

    He said: "Let's be clear, what we’ve seen on that forecourt before which is effectively Man United turned into a prison, it’s a devastating image for the Manchester United Football Club brand around the world, let's just note that. 

    "You have to put prison walls up around your ground and have hundreds and hundreds of police officers on a game where fans aren't attending, there is something that has gone badly wrong."

  • Leon Bailey a no-go as JFF names 30-man squad for Japan and Serbia friendlies in June Leon Bailey a no-go as JFF names 30-man squad for Japan and Serbia friendlies in June

    Leon Bailey and Michail Antonio will not be available for the Reggae Boyz matches against Japan and Serbia that have been scheduled for June as Jamaica’s senior squad continues its preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July and the World Cup qualifiers in September.

  • Guardiola thanks Liverpool boss Klopp for title text: He made me a better manager Guardiola thanks Liverpool boss Klopp for title text: He made me a better manager

    Pep Guardiola thanked Jurgen Klopp for his Premier League title text message after Manchester City succeeded Liverpool as champions, saying the Reds boss has pushed him to a new level.

    Klopp described rival Guardiola as "the best manager in the world" in a news conference on Wednesday, the day after City secured a third title in four seasons.

    The text from Klopp to Guardiola was not the only one sent from Merseyside, with Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti also sending his congratulations. 

    "I received a lot. He and Carlo Ancelotti have done it," said Guardiola.

    "I appreciate it a lot from both of them. I could not answer messages, not yet, but I will do it today."

    Speaking on Thursday, Guardiola offered a salute to the Liverpool and Everton bosses, both of whom have won Champions League and domestic titles in storied careers.

    The rise of Klopp has forced Guardiola to pull out all the stops to deliver success both at City and previously at Bayern Munich, when Klopp's Borussia Dortmund were such a force.

    "It was an inspiration for me. He has made me through his teams at Dortmund and Liverpool a better manager," Guardiola said.

    "I would say thank you so much, I appreciate it a lot from him and Carlo."

    Guardiola and City may have wrapped up the club's fifth title in 10 years, but they can still secure a host of achievements before turning their focus to the May 29 Champions League final against Chelsea.

    They head to Newcastle United on Friday evening in the Premier League, and a win at St James' Park would be a 12th successive away victory for City. That would break the all-time record for the top four tiers in English football. Chelsea achieved 11 in a row in 2008 and City did so in 2017 before repeating that on their current unbroken streak of away-day successes.

    City are also one short of matching the record for clean sheets achieved away from home across all competitions by a top-flight team in a single season. They have racked up 16 shut-outs so far, one short of the record jointly held by Liverpool (1975-76), Chelsea (2003-04) and Manchester United (2008-09).

    Their away form has been something remarkable, with City undefeated in their most recent 22 games on the road.

    That is already the longest such run by an English top-flight team, but City would also surpass the record for the top four tiers of the English game should they avoid defeat on Tyneside.

    Notts County also went 22 games unbeaten away from home between February and December 2012 while in League One.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.