The implosion of the European Super League (ESL) over the past 48 hours was more about the breakaway group losing out to the establishment and had little to do with the fans.

Avram Grant believes the owners of Europe's top clubs must learn football is completely different to the NBA.

Former Chelsea and West Ham manager Grant is thrilled that the breakaway continental competition – which would have rivalled UEFA's Champions League and impacted the future of domestic pyramids – has fallen through.

All six English clubs involved withdrew on Tuesday, prompting Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli to acknowledge on Wednesday the project was effectively over as further teams rushed to the exit.

Grant feels the saga was a huge victory for football supporters.

He pointed out how the sport is different to any others, which may have surprised some of the American owners as they tried to force through a project that would have guaranteed the involvement of founding clubs every year.

"They [the owners] compare it the NBA, but it is not a good comparison," Grant said to Stats Perform News.

"What they say is not right. This is not the NBA - there is a draft in the NBA.

"Of course, they misjudged it as they don't come from football. Take the three Americans. I met one of them, fantastic person but they don't know the nature of the game. 

"In football, one plus one is not two. The decision making is different. Football is a game of emotions. The game is not pure business. It's a lot of passion. 

"Supporters are paying money and I'm so happy about the reaction of the PM [prime minister, Boris Johnson] and of Prince William who I know and really like. 

"It's a lesson for all the owners, money is important but the passion needs to stay as it is. They will learn their lesson, they are clever guys. 

"We love that Leicester City became champions – you cannot take Euro opportunities from clubs. 

"And even the LA Lakers don't always get a place in the playoffs, they need to work for it."

Grant was pleased to see his former boss – Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich – among the first to withdraw following fan protests at Stamford Bridge.

He insisted the Russian should not take all of the blame for signing up as he must have been badly advised.

Grant added: "I'm very happy about that as I know him, he took a step back.

"And it's not just Roman, but the people around the owners. Where have you been? You need to tell them [the owners]. 

"It was the wrong decision and I'm very happy about their reaction. 

"Football can be improved, I understand the big clubs, some of the things they are asking for are right, but this decision [to try a Super League] is very wrong.

"I was not shocked [by the idea] because you know big clubs have been speaking about it for a long time, but I was shocked they did it. 

"I understand where they are coming from financially but they have tried to create classes in football, when instead you have to prove yourself on the pitch. 

"Imagine if I told a squad, quality doesn't matter, you five players will play always!

"UEFA need to find a solution with big clubs to keep the balance [between finance and sport]. They need to keep the nature of the football." 

Grant was asked about the future of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who was poised to lead the Super League as its chairman.

He added: "No more Super League, forget it, it will not happen. I said to Florentino Perez: forget it! It’s not good for you! 

"I understand what he tried to do, but it was wrong. He can stay – but if he still thinks it is the right way to go and destroys football then that is something else. 

"It's a big, big victory for the supporters. Football comes from the heart. 

"It's a victory for the people. This is the biggest victory. In democracy people vote, this is democracy and the people said no. 

"We don't want Real Madrid v Liverpool every day. You can't give an advantage to any player to play. I can't just play Didier Drogba because I like him! Only because he is good. 

"So, it is a big, big victory for the people."

Sam Allardyce wants to see greater protection put in place to guard the Premier League from further attempts to form a European Super League.

England's top flight came under threat this week after its 'big six' announced plans to launch the controversial new continental competition.

The Super League would have replaced the Champions League for those involved, rather than the Premier League, but the clubs would be guaranteed participation, impacting the domestic structure which currently provides a path into Europe.

The remaining 14 Premier League outfits voted "unanimously and vigorously" against the proposal, however.

And by the close of play on Tuesday, all six English sides had backtracked, announcing plans to pull out of the Super League, which prompted European rivals to follow.

Former England manager Allardyce – now in charge at West Brom – does not feel the danger has passed.

"In that format, it's dead," he said. "But in other formats, it's on hold."

The Baggies boss took aim at the American owners of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal as he outlined the need to protect "the best league in the world" against future breakaway bids.

Allardyce compared the Super League, which would not have featured demotion for founding clubs, to competitions in the United States like the NFL, NBA or MLB.

"The lessons to be learned are now down to the governing bodies, who run our game," he said.

"Unless we learn those lessons very quickly, unless we put better protection into the structure of our game, we are still ready to be seeing something like this yet again and again.

"This is not a new idea, by any stretch of the imagination. It may have been a new format, but this has been talked about for many years, believe you me.

"The bigger boys have been trying to get the bigger share of the pot for many years. Luckily, because of the 14 votes required in the Premier League, that has been resisted and rightly so.

"Now, they've chosen to go behind people's backs and try to find a better solution just for them and only them and not for football in general.

"It's a great shame that when we have the best league in the world that raises the most money in the world that six of our clubs in the Premier League chose to desert that format.

"Why would you want to desert the best league in the world, the most-watched league in the world, the most entertaining league in the world? The best players, the best managers and coaches – why would you want to destroy that?

"I find that [is] because individuals have come together, and in particular this stinks of the American system trying to be put in place, for me.

"Obviously three of the six are American-based, and when you see the format in America – no relegation, no promotion – that's exactly what this alludes to and you can see where it's probably come from."

Allardyce called for "better rules and regulations" to "avoid this situation again", while he was also asked about possible sanctions for the 'big six'.

When Super League plans were still in place, the idea of expelling the sides was mooted. Potential points deductions continue to be discussed.

"If we all break the rules, we all get sanctioned," Allardyce said. "If I breach any rules, I get sanctioned for it; if clubs break any rules, they get sanctioned for it.

"Obviously, in this case, they've broken the rules so they need to be looked at. What form of punishment? I don't know.

"But certainly, if you've broken the rules, you have to pay for that."

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."

John W Henry has apologised for the disruption caused by Liverpool's involvement in the European Super League project, admitting a mistake was made when trying to act in the perceived best interests of the club.

The 12-team breakaway competition was only revealed on Sunday, yet the universal backlash quickly led to the 'big six' from the Premier League all withdrawing from the proposal.

Manchester City were the first to reveal their decision to pull out, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United then releasing simultaneous statements ending their association.

Chelsea had been the first English club reported to be making a Super League U-turn and the Blues confirmed as much after the 0-0 home draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday.

"I want to apologise to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I caused over the past 48 hours," Liverpool principal owner Henry said in a video posted by the club on social media.

"It goes without saying but should be said that the project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans. No-one ever thought differently in England. Over these 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you.

"And I want to apologise to Jurgen [Reds manager Klopp], to Billy (chief executive Hogan], to the players and to everyone who works so hard at LFC to make our fans proud. They have absolutely no responsibility for this disruption. They were the most disrupted and unfairly so. This is what hurts most. They love your club and work to make you proud every single day.

"I know the entire LFC team has the expertise, leadership and passion necessary to rebuild trust and help us move forward. More than a decade ago when we signed up for the challenges associated with football, we dreamed of what you dreamed of. And we've worked hard to improve your club.

"Our work isn't done. And I hope you'll understand that even when we make mistakes, we're trying to work in your club's best interests. In this endeavour I've let you down."

On Monday, prior to his team playing Leeds United in Premier League action, Klopp had made clear his dislike of the planned Super League, a tournament which would have seen the 15 founding members certain of their involvement each season regardless of domestic results.

James Milner spoke out against the plan when interviewed after the Reds' 1-1 draw at Elland Road, while Liverpool's players collectively issued a statement the following day, making clear their stance on the issue.

"We don't like it and we don't want it to happen," the message read, while confirming their continued commitment to the club and its supporters.

Henry accepted full responsibility for the "negativity brought forward" since Sunday's announcement.

"Again, I'm sorry, and I alone am responsible for the unnecessary negativity brought forward over the past couple of days. It's something I won't forget. And shows the power the fans have today and will rightly continue to have," he continued.

"If there's one thing this horrible pandemic has clearly shown, it’s how crucial fans are to our sport and to every sport. It's shown in every empty stadium.

"It's been an incredibly tough year for all of us; virtually no-one unaffected. It's important that the Liverpool football family remains intact, vital and committed to what we've seen from you globally, with local gestures of kindness and support. I can promise you I will do whatever I can to further that."

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin sounded a conciliatory note as plans for a European Super League unravelled in the face of wide-ranging backlash. 

Little more than a day after hitting out at a proposal he said was "fuelled purely by greed above all else," Ceferin indicated a willingness to move forward with the clubs that have backed out of the breakaway league. 

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham all confirmed they were ending their involvement with the European Super League after a popular uproar about the plans. 

“I said yesterday that it is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake," Ceferin said in a statement. 

“But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not just to our competitions but to the whole of the European game.

“The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this and move forward together.”

The English clubs' withdrawal from the venture leaves Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Milan and Inter to continue, but it is unclear what shape the proposal might take with half of its projected participants no longer involved. 

The European Super League said after the defections it would "reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project". 

UEFA plans to move ahead with the Champions League revisions announced Monday in the face of whatever threat might remain from the Super League proponents. 

Those plans include an increased field of 36 teams as the present format -  whereby there are eight pools of four – will be scrapped.

Instead, each team will play 10 group games before advancing to a last-16 knockout format. The changes are due to be introduced for the 2024-25 season.

Leaders of the European Super League were weighing up their options after half of their proposed member clubs pulled out Tuesday. 

The six English clubs - Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea - have all confirmed their withdrawal.

Their departure leaves Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Milan and Inter to continue.

"Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due the pressure out on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations as was demonstrated today by a court decision to protect the Super League from third party actions," the European Super League said in a release. 

"Given the current circumstances, we shall reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project, always having in mind our goals of offering fans the best experience possible while enhancing solidary payments for the entire football community."

The European Super League statement also reiterated that the "current status quo of European football needs to change". It said the current European system "does not work".

The project has received widespread condemnation from fans, players, coaches, federations and national governments since its initial announcement on Sunday.

Gerard Pique became the first Barcelona or Real Madrid player to openly criticise the attempted formation of a European Super League.

Twelve major European clubs came together to confirm the creation of a closed-shop competition on Sunday, but within 48 hours it has been left in ruins.

Manchester City became the first club to withdraw on Tuesday and Chelsea were also reported to have begun such proceedings at a similar time, though an official statement is not expected until Wednesday.

The four remaining English teams, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United – who earlier on Tuesday confirmed club chief Ed Woodward has resigned in an apparently unrelated move – then released simultaneous statements announcing their disassociation with the breakaway.

None of Milan, Inter, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Madrid nor Barca have addressed the situation in public since the English clubs began to set their mass-withdrawal in motion.

But the cracks have started to appear, with Barca great Pique seemingly becoming the first player from the Spanish clubs to denounce the proposals that have been left in tatters.

Around the same time that Arsenal, Liverpool, United and Spurs confirmed their exits, Pique tweeted: "Football belongs to the fans. Today more than ever."

Madrid president Florentino Perez was expected to appear on Spanish radio on Tuesday but ultimately failed to show.

With half of the 12 founder members pulling out, the next move of the remaining six is yet to be revealed.

However, it looks like a troubling period awaits Madrid, with Perez openly admitting on Monday that the club needed the money from the Super League due to their financial difficulties.

Pique's Barca also have issues, with their debts confirmed earlier this year to be in excess of €1billion.

Fenway Sports Group's (FSG) position at Liverpool may become untenable after their attempt to launch a European Super League, according to club great Jamie Carragher, while Gary Neville believes time is up for the Glazer family at Manchester United.

On Sunday, Liverpool and United, along with Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, along with teams from Spain and Italy, announced their intention to join a breakaway competition, sparking furore across the spectrum.

UEFA responded in force, threatening bans to clubs and players alike, with FIFA offering their support.

Governing bodies and football associations also condemned the move, while supporters gathered outside grounds to protest.

In a remarkable shift, the pressure told on Tuesday, with City formally announcing their withdrawal from the competition. Liverpool and United, along with the other English teams, followed suit.

While it remains to be seen what punishment, if any, will be handed out, Sky Sports pundits Carragher and Neville believe the ownerships of their respective clubs may have run their course.

"I'm as angry at Liverpool now as I was yesterday," Carragher said shortly before Liverpool's confirmation they had left the competition.  

"Jurgen Klopp has thrown them under the bus, their own captain has thrown them under the bus, with the rest of the squad. There's nothing left for Liverpool's owners in what they're doing, what they're hanging on for.

"I actually think the situation with Liverpool's owners now – I don't see how they can continue. They can't just leave the club, obviously, it's a business. It's worth a lot of money if they sell it, but I don't see a future for the ownership of FSG at Liverpool anymore on the back of this, and I think they're just making it worse for themselves the longer they hang in."

Joel and Avram Glazer have long been unpopular with United's fanbase, meanwhile. On Tuesday, it was confirmed Ed Woodward – the club's executive vice-chairman – would be leaving at the end of 2021.

Neville added: "Ed Woodward is the trunk of the tree, we now need to go for the roots. [The Glazers] have declared their hand, while they were peacefully sat at the club, never showing their hand.

"They were taking money out of the club, leveraging the club, there's nothing we could do about that once the club became a PLC but they attacked every single football fan in this country with what they did.

"The Glazers have no place in Manchester anymore and we have to work hard to ensure that ownership rules in this country are changed, that we have a system whereby this can not happen, whether it's government intervention, an independent regulator, a fan-owned club rule.

"Whatever it is, we have to make sure that this is a catalyst for change. The people have spoken, we were on the brink of anarchy if this continued. These six sets of owners in this country and the other ones in Europe have misread this situation badly."

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham have all confirmed they are withdrawing from the proposed European Super League.

Liverpool's players have put themselves firmly at odds with the club's owners over the planned European Super League, stating: "We don't like it and we don't want it to happen."

As rivals Manchester City pulled out of the controversial new competition, many of Liverpool's biggest names posted or endorsed a message from the squad.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expressed reservations on Monday, as did veteran midfielder James Milner, but the latest development was flagged as a squad-wide rebuttal of the Fenway Sports Group's plans to take the club into the 'closed-shop' league.

Among those to post the message on Twitter were captain Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Virgil van Dijk re-posted Henderson's tweet, with an arrow pointing to the statement.

It read in full: "We don't like it and we don't want it to happen. This is our collective position. Our commitment to this football club and its supporters is absolute and unconditional. You'll Never Walk Alone."

The new league looked on the verge of collapse on Tuesday, less than 48 hours after being officially announced, as City decided to withdraw.

The rebellious stance from Liverpool's players will need to be addressed by the club, given it puts the playing staff in direct conflict with the owners.

Kenny Dalglish, widely regarded as the club's greatest player, was not as forthright as the current Reds stars.

Dalglish, who also twice had spells as manager of the club, wrote on Twitter: "The last few days have been difficult for everyone who loves Liverpool Football Club and I really hope we do the right thing."

Supporters group Spirit of Shankly issued a statement that called into question FSG's ongoing ownership of Liverpool.

It read: "Spirit of Shankly note with anger that club owners FSG are still hanging on to this shattered nightmare of a European 'Super' League.

"We are calling on the FSG board to withdraw our club from this catastrophic idea and consider their positions with immediate effect. To coin a previous campaign of ours 'Not Welcome Here'."

That slogan was previously used by the group as they attempted to pressure former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to leave Liverpool.

David Trezeguet believes domestic leagues will "lose their charm" and suffer huge damage as a result of the European Super League.

The 12 founding clubs of the breakaway competition have indicated they want to remain in their domestic leagues, despite threats of severe punishments.

But World Cup winner Trezeguet, whose former club Juventus are among the group, thinks the excitement will disappear from the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A.

He also fears for the Champions League's lustre should UEFA attempt to continue with it if the European Super League is ultimately launched.

Trezeguet said to Stats Perform News: "From an emotional side it is nice to conquer your right to play in the Champions League and Europa League on the pitch. 

"At the moment in Italy we discuss if Juventus can qualify, if Napoli can overtake them, if Lazio can get closer. 

"All these everyday chats will be lost because with the Super League you already know those three clubs [Juventus, Inter and Milan] will be in and maybe somebody else will be added.

"Although they clearly stated they would go on, domestic leagues will lose their charm.

"You lose the charm of understanding clubs' goals... who aims at Champions League? Who at the Europa League? And other goals.

"And the Champions League will lose these 12 big clubs who boast a big enchantment on marketing and fans." 

But Trezeguet understands why top clubs would be tempted by the huge financial rewards on offer after the coronavirus pandemic.

He added: "Read the economic value of the Super League and what Florentino Perez said [about huge financial losses]. If these are the losses, they are huge and they are due to the pandemic. 

"My opinion is divided. They even said they don't want to give up on other [clubs] - this is yet to be verified. 

"If you read those figures, you see a big leap in quality [of finances] for these 12 clubs but whether they will help the others is yet to be seen. 

"But from an emotional point of view I don't agree because you lose the principle of qualifying on the pitch. 

"We all know for sure that football has become a big business but lest we forget the sporting side of this game. 

"Earning your titles, playing a high-level season that makes you qualify for European cups - this is a job well done. 

"I know these big clubs are used to playing at such levels.

"But from an emotional viewpoint I am perplexed because you already know these three clubs [in Italy or Spain] will be automatically qualified regardless of their seasonal path in the league."

Trezeguet foresees a lengthy political battle ahead and is unsure whether players and fans will ultimately be listened to.

He added: "It will be a long bureaucratic clash and it is not a surprise. The Super League on one hand and the UEFA on the other have been very clear. 

"They have both their ideas and formats and the economic part should not be forgotten since these figures [for losses] are huge.

"First we have to see if they will be able to do the Super League as I was watching Leeds v Liverpool and already you can see fans were emotional. 

"And the UEFA president gave a speech that was more emotional than concrete about treason, wrong ideas, phone calls unreturned.

"But it is true that we are entering in a critical moment. UEFA and FIFA were straightforward on this from a sporting point of view. 

"Politicians in very important football countries like France, Germany and England have opposed the Super League. 

"Even in Italy and Spain the prime minister and the ministers have backed UEFA rather than the Super League. Now it is politics.

"The players will be the least listened to - this Super League has been decided without even consulting the players or the fans. 

"What has struck me is fans and players coming forward very clearly against it. Will it go on regardless? We'll see."

The 14 Premier League clubs left out of plans for a European Super League have "unanimously and vigorously" voted against the proposals as England's top flight considers "all actions available" to halt the breakaway competition.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham have announced plans to join a lucrative new tournament.

The 'big six' suggested this would run alongside the Premier League, in place of the Champions League.

But their guaranteed involvement in the Super League has been widely criticised as anti-competitive, with Premier League performance having no impact on European fortunes.

The Premier League and The Football Association (FA) each condemned the idea when it was first reported on Sunday.

And the two bodies held a meeting for the 14 remaining Premier League clubs on Tuesday, at which the league added it would hold the 'big six' "to account under its rules".

"The Premier League, alongside The FA, met with clubs today to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal," a statement read.

"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. 

"The league will continue to work with key stakeholders including fan groups, government, UEFA, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately.  

"The Premier League would like to thank fans and all stakeholders for the support they have shown this week on this significant issue.

"The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people."

This meeting took place as City manager Pep Guardiola announced his opposition to the Super League in a pre-match news conference.

Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp said on Monday he did not support the plans but added the club's Boston-based owners Fenway Sports Group were "reasonable people" and "never have to explain these decisions to me or ask for permission".

"Profit-driven" projects like the European Super League threaten the existing structure and mission of sport, according to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach.

Bach appeared at the UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland on Tuesday.

The furore caused by 12 of Europe's leading clubs announcing a breakaway competition that would see them leave existing structures in place under UEFA and FIFA continues to cause intense debate.

Bach warned that self-interest and commercialism would come at a huge cost for European sport.

He insisted such an approach was not what was needed as society rebuilds as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have to realise that this European sport model is under threat today," Bach said. 

"In fact, the very existence of the values, solidarity and volunteer-based model is under threat. 

"It is challenged by a purely profit-driven approach that ignores the intrinsic values the social mission of sport and the real needs of the post-coronavirus world. 

"It is under threat because the social mission of sports organisations is losing ground to the purely profit-oriented goals of commercial sport providers and investors. 

"If everything is only looked at from a business perspective. If only the economic rules are applied to measure the impact of sport on society then the social mission of sport is lost.

"In this polarising environment narrow self-interest and egotism have been gaining ground over solidarity, shared values and common rules. 

"We can only address the challenges of the post-coronavirus world in solidarity. This means for us solidarity within sports organisations and solidarity among sports organisations."

At the same conference, FIFA president Gianni Infantino condemned the European Super League.

Infantino warned clubs involved they "cannot be half in or half out" and must fully commit to the breakaway competition.

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