Football: World rejoices as Super League burns to the ground
Cheree Kinnear runs down the weekend’s sports results in 90 seconds.
The Super League is imploding and football fans couldn’t be happier.
Less than 48 hours after bragging about how it would save football, the breakaway group headed by 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs is in turmoil as teams pull out and bosses quit following a fiery backlash to their radical proposal.
All six English Premier League teams are withdrawing, while Spanish giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are reportedly considering following suit.
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward announced he will resign at the end of the year and there are rumours Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli is on the verge of doing the same.
There was widespread outrage to the announcement of the elite competition, which many viewed as spitting in the face of football’s traditional values as it rejected smaller clubs and did away completely with the concept of relegation.
It’s why the world can’t stop laughing as the Super League — which saw the original 12 teams sign up to share a pot of more than $5.4 billion — goes down in flames.
Gary Neville laughs last
Manchester United and England legend Gary Neville led the chorus of criticism on Monday, launching a scathing monologue on Sky Sports saying he was “disgusted” by the shock move and blasting the clubs involved — including his own beloved Red Devils.
The ex-defender turned pundit was laughing on Wednesday though as he shared a photo to Twitter of him toasting the Super League’s demise.
He also posted a gif of dominoes falling as he rejoiced in the chaos.
Manchester United’s share price has tanked since it announced it was going to be part of the breakaway competition — something angry fans were keen to mock on Twitter.
City star waves goodbye as Liverpool, Chelsea speak up
Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher poked fun at how quickly the Super League has fallen to pieces.
Plenty of current players were speaking out too. Liverpool stars including Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Trent Alexander-Arnold shared the same club post on social media, which read: “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.”
It ended with the words of Liverpool’s famous anthem: “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Liverpool royalty Sir Kenny Dalglish added: “The fans have always been and will always be integral to Liverpool Football Club. In so many ways they are the Club. I am relieved to know that the Club has listened to them.”
City star Raheem Sterling was happy to see his side leave.
Former long-time Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger expected the concept to fail. “I’m not surprised it didn’t last long. It ignored the basic principles of sporting merit,” he said.
“If you ignore that you kill the domestic leagues, so fans would never accept that.”
Boris goes bang
Even England Prime Minister Boris Johnson weighed in, taking to Twitter to encourage the rest of the clubs to follow Chelsea and Manchester City by pulling out.
“The decision by Chelsea and Manchester City is — if confirmed — absolutely the right one and I commend them for it,” Johnson tweeted.
“I hope the other clubs involved in the European Super League will follow their lead.”
Social media lights up
Social media had a field day with the news. UFC megastar Conor McGregor chimed in, taking a crack at Manchester United.
“Hey guys, I’m thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?” he tweeted.
American football writer and podcaster Grant Wahl said: “Watching the Super League collapse in real time is one of the most enjoyable Twitter experiences I’ve ever had.”
Spanish side Sevilla FC and Dutch club Ajax certainly enjoyed watching the Super League burn to the ground, mocking the backflip as others joined in.
Football boss welcomes back City
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin had earlier blasted the Super League “snakes” trying to ruin football, but welcomed back Manchester City after the club confirmed it was backtracking on plans to join the Super League.
“I am delighted to welcome #MCFC back to the European football family,” Ceferin said. “As I said at the UEFA Congress, it takes courage to admit a mistake but I never doubted they had the common sense to make that decision.”