Chelsea to pull out of European Super League: reports

London (AFP) –


Chelsea are set to withdraw from the European Super League after a furious backlash against the controversial plan, according to British media reports on Tuesday.

Chelsea were one of 12 leading European clubs to sign up to the breakaway league on Sunday.

But reaction to the incendiary scheme has been scathing, with politicians and football authorities threatening to take legal action against the so-called "dirty dozen" and potentially ban them from domestic leagues.

Over 1,000 fans gathered outside Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium on Tuesday to protest against the plan ahead of the team's Premier League match against Brighton.

Less than two hours after the protesters made their feelings known, it was reported that Chelsea are preparing documentation to become the first club to withdraw from the competition.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich is understood to have driven the decision.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, now the club's technical advisor, had come out of the stadium in a bid to persuade fans to clear the roads before news of their impending withdrawal broke.

Cech was heard shouting "give us time" before being drowned out by angry protesters.

Chelsea's exit could spark the collapse of the Super League, with reports that Manchester City are also considering quitting the competition -- which was created in a bid to take more of the profits from European tournaments than currently available through the Champions League.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan were the other clubs to sign up to the largely invitation-only competition.

It was reported the 12 teams would share an initial pot of over 3.5 billion euros.