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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.

The big picture: The league has been met with withering backlash.

  • Roughly 1,000 Chelsea fans protested their club's inclusion ahead of Tuesday's Premier League game against Brighton.

When news broke of Chelsea's exit from the league, the fans jubilantly cheered, "We saved football!"

Between the lines: Players on the member clubs didn't know they'd be in the league before it was announced.

  • "I can only say my personal opinion: I don't like it," said Liverpool's James Milner Monday. "Hopefully it doesn't happen."

The bottom line: The league keeps the unfairness of the U.S. system, Axios' Felix Salmon wrote Monday morning, and takes away the elements that help to even things out.

  • Soccer has seen no shortage of greedy owners buying trophies, but it's never been as brazen as this.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Apr 19, 2021 - Sports

European soccer is at war

Liverpool celebrating its 2019 Champions League victory. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

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 19, 2021 - Sports

Big European soccer teams announce breakaway league

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) after striking the ball during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Liverpool F.C. and Real Madrid at Anfield in Liverpool, England, last Wednesday. Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

12 of world soccer's biggest and richest clubs announced Sunday they've formed a breakaway European "Super League" — with clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona Real Madrid, Juventus and A.C. Milan among those to sign up.

Why it matters: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among those to express concern at the move — which marks a massive overhaul of the sport's structure and finances. It effectively ends the decades-old UEFA Champions League's run as the top European soccer tournament.