In what has been a turbulent week for football, Premier Sports Network provides a timeline of events, lasting only 56 hours, on how the European Super League story unfolded.
Sunday April 18
1:00pm: The Times publishes a story claiming that five English clubs have signed up to a 20-team European Super League. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are the named teams, with only Manchester City from the Big Six holding off from the plans.
2:00pm: Reports emerge that City too are on board for the league that will stage 15 permanent members, including the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Juventus, Inter and Milan, with the 15 founder clubs sharing an initial €3.5 billion “infrastructure grant”.
5:00pm: Fans begin to speak out against the proposals as news travelled around the world immediately. Gary Neville spoke openly and without holding back on the clubs joining the league and in particular his former club, Manchester United.
8:30pm: The UK government comes out to condemn the plans, saying that “plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action”.
11:00pm: Clubs take to social media to announce that they are going to be part of the new Super League, which is set to start in August. It is announced that Real Madrid’s Florentino Pérez will be the president.
Monday April 19
9:00am: The Super League sends a letter to the presidents of FIFA and UEFA, issuing a notice of legal proceedings in European courts designed to block any sanctions the two governing bodies may try to enforce on the clubs.
9:00am: Representatives from the Super League clubs begin leaving the European Club Association (ECA), including Manchester United’s Ed Woodward and Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli.
10:00am: Borussia Dortmund, alongside Bayern Munich, confirm they are not going to be part of the new breakaway league with RB Leipzig later commenting the same. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) haven't commented but are understood to not want to join the league too.
11:00am: PSG’s Ander Herrera becomes the first top player to speak out against the plan. Mesut Özil, Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson also further condemn the plans.
2:00pm: The UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, calls the clubs “disgraceful” and reiterates that players who participate in the new competition will not be allowed to represent their countries in the European Championships or the World Cup.
5:00pm: The UK government state that they will do whatever it takes to prevent the English clubs from joining the new league. Football authorities have the full backing of ministers, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden says.
7:00pm: Jürgen Klopp, speaking before Liverpool’s game against Leeds, says he does not like the idea of a Super League and that he doesn't want it to happen. James Milner agrees with his manager in a post-match interview.
9:00pm: Pérez makes an appearance on Spanish TV saying that the Super League has been formed to “save football”. He adds that matches in the Super League may be shorter in order to attract a younger audience.
Tuesday April 20
10:00am: Everton become the first club of the “other 14” to release a statement condemning the Super League clubs.
11:00am: The first cracks appear as reports claim that Chelsea and Manchester City are considering there position in joining the Super League while the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, says that the governing body strongly disapproves of the breakaway league.
1:30pm: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, voices his opinion over the competition saying: “It is not a sport where the relation between the effort and the success, the effort and the reward, does not exist. It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed..."
4:00pm: Chelsea fans gather outside Stamford Bridge before the game against Brighton & Hove Albion to protest against the club’s participation in the Super League.
6:00pm: Reports suggest that Chelsea are about to pull out of the European Super League because of the fan backlash and that they are preparing documentation to withdraw.
7:00pm: Manchester City join Chelsea in preparing to withdraw from the new league.
8:00pm: Reports claim that Ed Woodward will step down as executive vice-chairman of Manchester United at the end of the year as the project continues to collapse.
9.23pm: Manchester City become the first club to announce that they have “formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans” to create a European Super League.
10:55pm: Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham issue statements saying they are pulling out.
12:40am: Italian and Spanish clubs look set to withdraw from the Super League, who issued a statement saying that the project is not abandoned.
12:45am: The first of the “Big Six” to reportedly make plans to withdraw, Chelsea, finally confirm the news in a statement.
Author: Jake Wilkin