Manchester United withdraw from Super League after ‘listening carefully to reaction from our fans’

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The Red Devils confirm departure after backlash to announcement that they and five other Premier League sides were joining competition

Manchester United have withdrawn from the European Super League after severe backlash to the announcement.

The club’s co-owner Joel Glazer was one of the main backers of the breakaway league but the widespread condemnation from the Government, the Premier League, UEFA, players, managers, fans and pundits has led to all six English sides pulling out.

Manchester City and Chelsea were the first to announce they would not be going through with their plans to join and United joined them along with the other three English sides, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea in pulling out.

What was said?

A statement from the club read: “Manchester United will not be participating in the European Super League. We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders.

“We remain committed to working with others across the football community to come up with sustainable solutions to the long-term challenges facing the game.”

Why have they withdrawn?

Glazer along with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward were two of the driving forces behind the breakaway league but while they expected some backlash they were not expecting the level of discontent which followed the formal announcement on Sunday evening.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a meeting on Tuesday after he called the plans ‘very damaging’ for football. The 14 other clubs in the Premier League also held their own meeting where they condemned the proposals.

As fans protested outside Elland Road on Monday night and again outside Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night clubs started to withdraw.

How have the players reacted?

It is understood the players and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were left in the dark over the proposals. Solskjaer was left to field questions from reporters after the win against Burnley on Sunday having only heard about the proposals via the media earlier in the day.

Players started to voice their disproval in the 48 hours that followed. Marcus Rashford tweeted a picture with a banner that said ‘football without fans is nothing’ while Harry Maguire posted a similar image on his Instagram page. Luke Shaw penned a statement expressing his concern over the new scheme.

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