“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,” said the 2019 Premier League champion.
Earlier on Tuesday, a source close to Chelsea — another of the 12 founding members of the Super League — told CNN Sport that the club was preparing to ask for its own withdrawal from the European Super League.
The source says Chelsea leadership spent the last two days discussing the situation with its stakeholders, community and fans and decided they can’t break away and join the Super League if the fans aren’t invested in the project.
“It has never been about the money,” the source told CNN Sport, who added that Chelsea’s intention in joining the Super League was based on a desire to improve the game, a priority for club owner Roman Abramovich.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin welcomed Manchester City’s return to “the European football family.”
“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,” said Ceferin in a statement.
The intention of Manchester City and Chelsea to withdraw came amid multiple reports that the 12 members of the breakaway Super League are meeting to discuss the future of the competition.
TalkSPORT was the first to report news of the meeting. CNN has reached out to the Super League for comment but has not heard back.
On Sunday, six English clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur — alongside three teams from Italy — AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus — and three from Spain — Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid — had laid out plans to form the breakaway Super League.
“I think this project has died today … and it is on the way to becoming a complete botch,” former Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon told CNN’s Richard Quest.
“I think it deserves it because it was a project destined to kill football. I think mainly at this time that we are living where many clubs are struggling to survive due to the economic problems from the pandemic, what football needs is unity, solidarity,” added Calderon.
Meanwhile Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is to leave the club at the end of 2021, according to the Premier League team.
Woodward joined United in 2005 and became executive vice-chairman in 2012.