CONTROVERSIAL COMPETITION

Football Super League plans in tatters as all six English clubs withdraw

Funny old game: PSG's Idrissa Gueye tackles David Alaba of Bayern Munich in the second leg of theit Champions League quarter-final in Paris
Funny old game: PSG's Idrissa Gueye tackles David Alaba of Bayern Munich in the second leg of theit Champions League quarter-final in Paris FRANCK FIFE AFP/Archives

British newspapers have hailed the "defeat of greed" and a victory for fans, after all six English clubs withdrew from the European Super League, leaving the controversial project in tatters.

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The Super League promised an annual competition involving the world's twelve richest clubs, with a potential pay-off estimated in billions of euros.

Following after a storm of condemnation from outraged fans and legal threats from football authorities, the breakaway league's "dirty dozen" have now been reduced to six as the English clubs pulled out.

The withdrawal by Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, just two days after the league's unveiling, leaves just six Spanish and Italian teams involved.

In Britain the Super League garnered ironic praise from the press for having done the impossible: uniting fans, players, politicians, and even members of the royal family in condemnation.

The Sun, one of the country's biggest tabloids, led the storm of celebrations over the collapse of the "despised" plans, with a front-page splash bidding "Cheerio, Cheerio, Cheerio" to the Super League and hailing the "victory for fans".

Irreverent competitor the Daily Star called the league's organisers "a laughing stock" and praised fans for scuppering the project with their vehement opposition.

The Daily Mail lauded the "Defeat of Greed", commending supporters for forcing their teams' withdrawal, while the Daily Mirror said the move gave "new hope for football".

And then there were six . . .

Here in France, sports paper L'Equipe -- which on Tuesday praised European football giants Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich for refusing to join the Super League -- said English fans had "sunk" the plans.

Despite English clubs having been at the heart of the project, the paper said, grassroots fans had united to bring down the "plotters" behind the project.

"English football will emerge proud of this fight, which collectively helped them remember their history, their responsibility, and their place in the community," the paper said.

The Spanish sports daily Marca said the Super League was "over", crediting English fans for bringing the scheme to its knees.

The paper said the Super League had gone "Super Ridiculous" on its Wednesday front page, describing it as now "mortally wounded" -- despite a statement from the six remaining teams, three of which are Spanish, that they will press on.

In Italy, home to the other three remaining clubs, La Gazzetta dello Sport said it was really the "fist of politics" that had brought down the league -- uniting everyone from the international press to the European Commission and political leaders in condemnation.

Shares in Juventus plunged by more than 10 percent on Wednesday, following in the footsteps of Manchester United after their Super League project with some of Europe's top football clubs collapsed.

The Italian club's shares had reached their highest level since September on the announcement of the project, at 0.911 euros on Monday, but fell as all six English clubs withdrew following a furious backlash from fans and football authorities.

UEFA looks to the future

Speaking on Wednesday,  UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said he wants to "rebuild the unity" of the European football body in the wake of the news that six English clubs had back-tracked on plans to join the rebel Super League.

"The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this, and move forward together," Ceferin said in a statement.

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