Manchester City started the process of withdrawing from the breakaway European Super League on Tuesday less than 72 hours after agreeing to join, with Chelsea also reported to be quitting in a major blow for the proposed new competition.
City confirmed they wanted to pull out while fellow English club Chelsea were reported by local media to be preparing the paperwork to leave a project backed by U.S. investment bank JP Morgan and headed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
Twelve of Europe’s top football clubs had announced on Sunday they were launching a breakaway Super League in the face of widespread opposition from within the game and beyond.
However, the sport’s governing bodies, other teams and fan organisations said it would increase the power and wealth of the elite clubs and the partially closed structure of the league goes against European football’s long-standing model.
The president of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin, was quick to welcome City’s decision.
The Super League organisation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.