London: All six English clubs dramatically abandoned plans to join a breakaway Super League on Tuesday, threatening to implode the project by a group of elite English, Spanish and Italian clubs less than two days after it was announced.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham deserted the 12-team project amid an escalating backlash that saw the government warn of legislating to stop the breakaway competition.
City were the first of the 12 breakaway clubs to withdraw from the controversial plan.
In a statement, the club said: "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."
Furious fans gathered outside Stamford Bridge to demonstrate against the proposed League ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Brighton on Tuesday.
Politicians and football authorities have condemned the “cynical” and “greedy” scheme. Amid threats of the clubs being kicked out of their domestic leagues and banned from the Champions League, fans have shown their disgust at the plan.
At least 1,000 supporters from different Premier League clubs put their traditional rivalries aside to gather in west London.
There were angry scenes as protesters spilt into the streets, stopping traffic around Stamford Bridge.
Fans held up signs reading: “RIP Football 1863 — 2021”, “Created by the poor, stolen by the rich”, “We want our cold nights in Stoke” and “Roman do the right thing” — in reference to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
Fans outside the stadium gates chanted “We want our Chelsea back” and “You know what you are”.
Meanwhile, Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has quit the club amid the chaos, according to reports.
It has also been reported Barcelona’s participation would be conditional on the Liga club’s members voting in favour of the proposal, according to Spanish media reports.
Catalan television station TV3 reported that the contract Barca president Joan Laporta signed with the other 11 founding member clubs included a clause that allowed the club to back out of the agreement should its members not agree.
The report added Laporta met Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman on Tuesday to explain the club’s position on the Super League and has arranged to speak with club captains Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto on Wednesday.