Twelve of Europe’s wealthiest soccer clubs had signed up as founding members of the new league.
Plans for a breakaway elite soccer league in Europe have unraveled after just two days, following widespread criticism from fans and players, and even threats of government intervention.
Announced on Sunday, the European Super League was designed to rival the UEFA Champions League, which is currently Europe’s top annual club competition.
Twelve of Europe’s wealthiest soccer clubs had signed up as founding members of the new league, backed by $6 billion in debt financing from JPMorgan.
But the move sparked fierce criticism among lawmakers, governing bodies, former players, fans, managers and pundits, with many concerned about the ramifications for the structure of domestic league and cup competitions.
English team Chelsea became the first club to signal it was withdrawing from the plan on Tuesday evening, with fans protesting outside its West London stadium ahead of a game.
Fellow UK-based team Manchester City quickly followed with official confirmation of their withdrawal, and was soon joined by the four other English Premier League participants.
John Henry, the principal owner of Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox, said in a video shared on Twitter on Wednesday: “I want to apologize to all the fans and supporters of Liverpool Football Club for the disruption I’ve caused over the past 48 hours.”