European Super League: Juventus still convinced by overall project as Milan withdraw

By Sports Desk April 21, 2021

Juventus remain convinced over the validity of a European Super League but admit the planned breakaway competition cannot possibly go ahead following a raft of withdrawals.

Milan followed Serie A rivals Inter in pulling out on Wednesday, as did Spanish side Atletico Madrid in a move welcomed by head coach Diego Simeone.

All six English teams – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – ended their involvement on Tuesday following widespread criticism of the proposal, including from some of their own players and coaches.

Juve president Andrea Agnelli confirmed to Reuters that the mass exodus of the Premier League contingent had effectively ended the possibility of a Super League going ahead – for now at least.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Bianconeri made clear the necessary procedures required for clubs to end their involvement have yet to be completed, as well as outlining how such a tournament still has merit from a sporting and commercial viewpoint.

"With reference to the press release issued by Juventus on April 19, relating to the project to create the Super League, and the subsequent public debate, the issuer specifies that it is aware of the request and intentions otherwise expressed by some clubs to withdraw from this project, although the necessary procedures under the agreement between the clubs have not been completed," a statement read.

"In this context, Juventus, while remaining convinced of the validity of the sporting, commercial and legal assumptions of the project, believes that it currently has limited possibilities of being completed in the form in which it was initially conceived.

"Juventus remains committed to building long-term value for the club and for the entire football movement."

Milan's U-turn came after taking into consideration the reaction from supporters to the tournament. The founding members would have been involved each season regardless of their performances in domestic leagues, a rule that received widespread condemnation.

"We accepted the invitation to participate in the Super League project with the genuine intention to deliver the best possible European competition for football fans around the world and in the best interest of the club and our own fans," Milan said in a statement.

"Change is not always easy, but evolution is necessary for progress, and the structures of European football have evolved and changed over the decades.

"However, the voices and the concerns of fans around the world have clearly been expressed about the Super League, and Milan must be sensitive to the voice of those who love this wonderful sport.

"We will continue to work hard to deliver a sustainable model for football."

Related items

  • Kompany 'very sceptical' of those 'pointing fingers' at Man City Kompany 'very sceptical' of those 'pointing fingers' at Man City

    Vincent Kompany is "very sceptical" over those "pointing fingers" at Manchester City after the Premier League charged the club with breaking its financial rules.

    City were this week charged with 115 breaches of the Premier League's financial rules between 2009 and 2018 with a range of punitive actions possible if found guilty, including expulsion from the division.

    Reigning English champions City stated they were "surprised" by the charges and Kompany, who won four Premier League titles during an 11-year stay with the Citizens during the period under scrutiny, questioned the motive of those criticising the club.

    Kompany, now manager of Championship side Burnley, told reporters after the Clarets' 2-1 FA Cup win over Ipswich Town: "I look at [criticism of City] and sometimes roll my eyes a little bit.

    "No doubt there's a lot of righteousness in the world to come and tell you what you've done wrong, and then if everybody looks at themselves, I think the football industry in general is not one that can afford to point the finger too many times.

    "I think all of you will have a little bit of a smile on your face to know what the football industry is about. I'm very sceptical when people start pointing fingers.

    "Do the best for yourself and let's try and improve all the time, but I'm a little bit sceptical when the fingers get pointed easily."

    Kompany's Burnley hold a 17-point advantage on third place Middlesbrough as they bid to earn automatic promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

    The former centre-back says the promotion race is taking his mind off potential goings-on at City, explaining: "I haven't had the time to even dive into what is undoubtedly an interesting topic. I've more interesting things to worry about at the moment.

    "The fixtures actually help me because I've had no time to look into it or feel emotionally connected to what's happening."

  • Kompany 'very sceptical' of those 'pointing fingers' at Man City Kompany 'very sceptical' of those 'pointing fingers' at Man City

    Vincent Kompany is "very sceptical" over those "pointing fingers" at Manchester City after the Premier League charged the club with breaking its financial rules.

    City were this week charged with 115 breaches of the Premier League's financial rules between 2009 and 2018 with a range of punitive actions possible if found guilty, including expulsion from the division.

    Reigning English champions City stated they were "surprised" by the charges and Kompany, who won four Premier League titles during an 11-year stay with the Citizens during the period under scrutiny, questioned the motive of those criticising the club.

    Kompany, now manager of Championship side Burnley, told reporters after the Clarets' 2-1 FA Cup win over Ipswich Town: "I look at [criticism of City] and sometimes roll my eyes a little bit.

    "No doubt there's a lot of righteousness in the world to come and tell you what you've done wrong, and then if everybody looks at themselves, I think the football industry in general is not one that can afford to point the finger too many times.

    "I think all of you will have a little bit of a smile on your face to know what the football industry is about. I'm very sceptical when people start pointing fingers.

    "Do the best for yourself and let's try and improve all the time, but I'm a little bit sceptical when the fingers get pointed easily."

    Kompany's Burnley hold a 17-point advantage on third place Middlesbrough as they bid to earn automatic promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

    The former centre-back says the promotion race is taking his mind off potential goings-on at City, explaining: "I haven't had the time to even dive into what is undoubtedly an interesting topic. I've more interesting things to worry about at the moment.

    "The fixtures actually help me because I've had no time to look into it or feel emotionally connected to what's happening."

  • Ten Hag defends Weghorst impact: 'He is making others play better' Ten Hag defends Weghorst impact: 'He is making others play better'

    Erik ten Hag is not concerned by Wout Weghorst's lack of goals since joining Manchester United on loan as he believes the striker is helping to get more out of other players.

    Weghorst has started all six of United's matches since arriving from Burnley last month but has scored only once, in the 3-0 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win at Nottingham Forest.

    The 30-year-old has also yet to assist a goal in his 439 minutes on the field and was substituted off shortly before the hour mark in Saturday's 2-1 league win over Crystal Palace.

    However, United have scored 13 goals across the six games Weghorst has played in, winning four of those, and he has received the backing of manager Ten Hag.

    "He is the one who makes players around him play better," Ten Hag said ahead of Thursday's Premier League meeting with Leeds United.

    "As a team we have to work better to anticipate his movements because his movements are good, and quite a lot of times he was close [to scoring]. 

    "He had many good actions and already a lot of good contributions to our results. He will score, but in the meantime he will do the other stuff, and do it good."

    Weghorst has an expected goals (xG) value of 1.66 since making his debut against Crystal Palace on January 18, which is the fourth most of any United player across that time.

    By comparison, United team-mate Marcus Rashford has scored three goals from an xG of 1.98 in that period.

    "It is not just about scoring as an individual but scoring from the team," Ten Hag added. "The team has to win. He is doing a very good job at this moment in several aspects."

    Weghorst is set to start against Leeds – the first of two league meetings between the sides in the space of four days – as Anthony Martial is once again ruled out with a hip injury.

    Martial has not played a full 90 minutes for United in the Premier League since January 2021 against Sheffield United and has started only six games in the competition this term.

    Ten Hag has been impressed by what he has seen from Martial, though, and insists the France international is working hard to return to full fitness.

    "He is not always available, but also I see the other side when he is available," Ten Hag said. 

    "He was never 100 per cent this season but he had a big impact every time he is available, even when he is at 80, 85, 90 per cent.

    "I think Anthony Martial is the player who has spent the most hours at Carrington this season, to return to recover, to get back, it is really so a pity for him that he is disappointed.

    "He's not always available and we want him to be always available as that will improve our game and because routines can't become routines when you're not always available."

    United are unbeaten in their past 17 home league games against Leeds, stretching back to a 1-0 loss in February 1981.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.