The Super League looks to be over less than 48 hours before it ‘begun’ with two of the six English clubs preparing to withdraw their application on Tuesday evening.
Chelsea were the first club to be reported to be withdrawing from the new ‘Super League’ – at around 6.30pm, shortly after fans had blocked access for the team bus arriving at Stamford Bridge while Manchester City were the next team to be reported to be preparing to withdraw.
Efforts to leave come just two days after both were announced as two of six English clubs to sign up to the controversial new competition.
The ESL has been widely criticised since being announced on Sunday.
Around 1,000 fans gathered outside Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge home ground before their game against Brighton on Tuesday to protest their involvement.
Chelsea and City were part of English football’s ‘big six’ clubs – alongside Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – to have agreed to join the new league.
In total, 12 European clubs announced their intentions to form the breakaway league, which they hoped to establish as a new midweek competition.
It was condemned by football authorities and government ministers in the UK and across Europe by Uefa and leagues associations.
According to several reports, Chelsea were the first club to indicate they will not press ahead by preparing documentation to withdrawn. City withdrew soon after.
Chelsea and City were reportedly not drivers of this plan, they were the last to sign and feared being left behind.
And shortly after Chelsea and City’s withdrawal, news from Spain appears that both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are also withdrawing.
Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, said he will put their participation to the vote of the members – effectively ending their interest.