Chelsea and Manchester City are preparing documents to withdraw from the European Super League (ESL), according to reports this evening.
In a statement released later this evening, Manchester City confirmed that it had formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the ESL group.
It comes after an enormous backlash against plans that would have seen 12 of Europe’s top clubs form their own closed league.
The news comes amid huge protests outside Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium this evening ahead of its game with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Club group the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said that the move was the “ultimate betrayal”.
Politicians and managers were united today in their opposition to the scheme, with Boris Johnson warning of a “legislative bomb” being prepared if clubs went ahead with the plans.
He added that “no action was off the table” as ministers seek to try and block the plans.
Writing on Twitter, Johnson welcomed the two clubs’ decision.
“The decision by Chelsea and Manchester City is – if confirmed – absolutely the right one and I commend them for it. I hope the other clubs involved in the European Super League will follow their lead”, he said.
The ESL clubs, which include Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, have also been warned they could be blocked from domestic competitions if they take part in the Super League.
The FA met with the 14 Premier League clubs not included in the proposal today to discuss the plans. In a statement afterwards, they said:
“The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.
“The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those shareholders involved to account under its rules.”
It was also reported that Atletico Madrid and Barcelona were backing out as well.