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Soccer-Chelsea tell fans club regrets Super League move

Fri, 23rd Apr 2021 22:34

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) - Chelsea told their supporters on Friday that the club regretted joining the short-lived Super League project that collapsed within 48 hours of being announced, while Tottenham Hotspur fans called on their club's board to resign immediately.

Twelve teams from England, Spain and Italy, announced days ago the creation of their own European competition, much to the incredulity of fans and leagues across the continent.

But following a storm of protests and threats of sanctions from the game's European and world governing bodies, the Super League said it would "reconsider" its next steps after it was reduced to only a few teams from Spain and Italy.

"As a club, we are committed to an open and regular dialogue with our fans and other stakeholders, but, on this occasion, regrettably, due to time constraints and confidentiality restraints, this was not achieved," Chelsea said in a letter to fans.

The west London club was one of six Premier League teams to sign up to the failed project. No teams from France or Germany joined.

Unlike Europe’s elite Champions League competition, where teams have to qualify through their domestic league, the Super League would have guaranteed the founders a place every year.

"We also recognise the sentiment that had been expressed about whether the ESL (Super League) relied strongly enough on sporting merit," Chelsea said.

"We recognise we should have addressed these issues in advance of joining the group.

"The owner and board understand that involving the club in such a proposal was a decision we should not have taken. It is a decision we deeply regret," Chelsea added.

The Super League collapse has also triggered calls for the resignation of the board at Tottenham, another Premier League club that pulled out of the project after two days following the negative reaction of their supporters to the plans.

"The current incarnation of the European Super League is now dead," said the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust.

"In the end the plotters could not distance themselves from it fast enough. So what does this mean for us, and for every fan group at the six clubs in England?"

"It means we cannot trust what our Boards say when we meet with them. We think their relationship with us is irreparably broken. We believe the immediate resignation of the current Executive Board is in the best long-term interests of the club." (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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