English football giants Manchester City have withdrawn from a group planning a European Super League.
European football was rocked after some of the continent”s richest teams announced they were forming a breakaway league.
Manchester City had joined fellow English teams Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham in founding the league.
Three teams each from Italy and Spain also signed up: AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid.
The plans have been attacked almost universally from within the football world and beyond.
The main controversy is that teams would not have to qualify to take part in the league, removing a key competitive element in some people’s eyes.
Chelsea, meanwhile, is preparing documents to tell the Super League it wants out too, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.
“Good news that Chelsea and City have seen sense, and I urge the rest to follow swiftly,” UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted. “The whole ESL move shows how out-of-touch these owners are. They have completely misjudged the strength of feeling from fans, players and the whole country. Football is for the fans.
“Our fan-led review will still happen and I remain convinced of the need for reform. We must make sure this never happens again.”
Liverpool was publicly urged to desert the Super League by its players who repeated a tweet first posted by captain Jordan Henderson.
“We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen,” Henderson tweeted. “This is our collective position.”