In a shock reversal, Chelsea fans’ protest compelled the club to re-evaluate their decision to join the European Super League. Now, after coming under fire from their own fans, Chelsea will withdraw from Super League (ESL).
Chelsea signed a “binding contract” to join the breakaway league, which was publicly announced on Sunday night. But the force with which fans, players, football experts dismissed this decision compelled Chelsea to back out by Tuesday night.
Chelsea fans blocked the road to Stamford Bridge yesterday and did not allow the team bus through. The fans had a sit-down in protest of the club owners’ involvement in ESL before a home match against Brighton.
Also, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck met with players and staff to discuss the proposals during the fans’ protest. The players were also apparently unhappy about the Super League and other leagues and national teams potentially banning them.
After such widespread resistance, Chelsea will withdraw from Super League, being the first of twelve clubs to do so.
A statement published in the early hours of Wednesday morning read: “As reported earlier this evening, Chelsea Football Club can confirm that it has begun the formal procedures for withdrawal from the group developing plans for a European Super League.”
The statement added: “Having joined the group late last week, we have now had time to consider the matter fully and have decided that our continued participation in these plans would not be in the best interests of the Club, our supporters or the wider football community.”
Club owner Roman Abramovich and the club’s board decided to withdraw, after witnessing the extremely negative global reaction.