Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Plans for a European Super League fell apart on Tuesday, just two days after the proposed soccer competition was announced.

How it went down: Manchester City, one of the six English Premier League clubs set to join the 12-team breakaway league, was the first to confirm it was out.

  • Within hours, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Liverpool announced that they, too, were walking away.
  • Inter Milan and Atlético Madrid followed, leaving the remaining clubs — Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan — with little choice but to abandon the proposal.
  • Just after midnight in Europe, the Super League released an official statement confirming the project had been suspended.

What they're saying:

  • Arsenal: "We made a mistake, and we apologize for it."
  • Tottenham: "We regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal."
  • Manchester United: "We have listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders."
  • Liverpool: "I want to apologize to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours," owner John Henry said in a video address.
Chelsea fans protesting outside Stamford Bridge. Photo: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

The state of play: The Super League, which would have upended soccer's structures and economics, was met with fury. Players spoke out against it, fans launched protests, and politicians threatened legal action.

  • FIFA and UEFA, which oversees soccer in Europe, threatened to ban Super League players from global events like the World Cup. "Either you are in, or you are out," said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
  • The Super League didn't do itself any favors with its shockingly poor launch strategy. Outside of Real Madrid's Florentino Pérez, owners never faced the press, and the lack of planning is truly remarkable.
  • Note to self: When unveiling a proposal to reshape the world's most popular sport, come equipped with more than a press release.

What's next: A scheme years in the making collapsed spectacularly in two days. Now what?

  • There's a sense that the Premier League could be irreparably damaged. "How can we ever work with these people again?" a source told The Athletic (subscription).
  • And if the clubs really did sign binding 23-year agreements, as was reported, can they simply withdraw or is it more complicated? Will UEFA welcome them back? Will their domestic leagues punish them?

Go deeper

Apr 21, 2021 - Sports

European Super League faces collapse after English soccer teams quit

Fans of Chelsea Football Club protest the European Super League outside Stamford Bridge soccer stadium in London, England. Photo: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

The European Super League announced in a statement Tuesday night it's "proposing a new competition" and considering the next steps after all six English soccer clubs pulled out of the breakaway tournament.

Why it matters: The announcement that 12 of the richest clubs in England, Spain and Italy would start a new league was met with backlash from fans, soccer stars and politicians. The British government had threatened to pass legislation to stop it from going ahead.

Apr 19, 2021 - Sports

Super League players could be banned from the World Cup

Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty images

The Union of European Football Associations is considering banning participants of the newly formed Super League from playing in international competitions like the 2021 European Championship and the 2022 World Cup, per AP.

The big picture: The Super League, comprised of 12 of the richest clubs in Europe — with three more set to join — is about maximizing earnings.

Updated Apr 20, 2021 - Sports

Super League in super trouble as clubs confirm withdrawals

David Silva of Manchester City looks dejected during the Premier League match. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

The European Super League is on the brink before it even manages to launch.

The state of play: Manchester City was the first to confirm Tuesday it "formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League. Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea followed suit.