According to UEFA president, Alexander Ceferin, Chelsea and Manchester City were both reluctant about being part of the doomed European Super League and only wanted to be part of the league due to worry of being left behind.
Close to two years ago, European football was shaken to its foundation when 12 clubs from England, Italy and Spain revealed their intentions to be among the Super League project.
A contentious breakaway tournament that was led by chiefs of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.
The format the European Super League planned on following
Based on how the tournament was planned to be set up, 15 long standing members would exit UEFA competitions and be part of full time participants in a new league of 20 teams.
The 20 clubs in the European Super League would not relegate to any lower division while 5 other teams would be part of the league via a qualification system based on the performances on the domestic front.
English sides like Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City all assented to the less fancied move.
The European Super League project erupted massive protests throughout England and across the European continent.
Football fans took to the streets to demand for a reversal on the Super League and following the agitations all the clubs from England listened to the vociferous voice of the fans as the gradually exited the competition one after the other in the space of 24 hours.
After everything, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus were left with egg on their faces when Inter Milan, AC Milan and Atlético Madrid additionally pulled out.
However, it was the six clubs who dropped out from England that struck home the point.
While in an interview with Sky Bet’s latest edition of the overlap, Alexander Ceferin established that Chelsea, who were at the time under the ownership of Roman Abramovic and Manchester City were both hesitant to breakaway from UEFA to join the Super League.
“When I arrived in Switzerland, I got a phone call from one of the English clubs saying that we’ll have to join this project. They didn’t like it but didn’t want to be the only ones out.
“Two clubs were hesitating in England very much, they said they wanted to stay friends with us, our friends from within.
“Both Chelsea and Manchester City were hesitant from the beginning, and it was one of these teams that called me.”
When speaking about the Premier League clubs who supported the move for the ESL, the president of UEFA told Gary Neville that: “As much as I know, unfortunately your club’s owners Manchester United were very much involved and Liverpool as well.
“I think that those two Manchester United and Liverpool were from the English side the most involved [in the Super League]. The last to join were Chelsea and Manchester City. I’m not sure about Tottenham and Arsenal.”
Conversations about a possible Super League is still unending in European football, with the A22 Management revealing their move to resuscitate the project with a fresh and refined 80-team style in February.
Alexander Ceferin is confident that a breakaway competition won’t come to fruition without the support of Premier League clubs
Alexander Ceferin is assured that any breakaway tournament is impossible without the support of Premier League clubs.
“Without English clubs the Champions League is not the same, and no Super League would exist,’ he continued. ‘German clubs are in the same position as English Clubs, but we didn’t have riots in Germany because no German clubs joined the Super League.
“If Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund joined, you would see people on the streets, the same way as you saw them in England. France is against. In Spain, out of 20 clubs in the La Liga, 18 are against.
“When they moaned that they want their Super League, play your Super League. You are three, you can play your Super League. Nobody cares. Nobody wants them, football doesn’t want them.”
Ceferin was elected as the 7th president of UEFA at the 12th extraordinary UEFA congress that was held in Athens, Greece.
He is a lawyer and he was president of the football association of Slovenia between 2011 and 2016.
Since he is the head of UEFA, he accordingly becomes a vice-president of the world football governing body, FIFA.