Agnelli admits Super League defeat despite ‘beauty of project’

Will Ford
Andrea Agnelli Juventus

Breakaway European Super League founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli admits defeat but “remains convinced of the beauty of that project”.

Plans were announced on Sunday for a midweek European Super League featuring 12 names founding members and had crumbled by Tuesday night following the withdrawal of the six English clubs.

Asked whether the plan could still go ahead on Wednesday, Agnelli said: “To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case.”

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But he maintains the proposals represented change that is needed in European football.

“I remain convinced of the beauty of that project,” said Agnelli.

“But admittedly, I don’t think that the project is now still up and running.”

Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward announced he will be leaving the club in the wake of the failed Super League plans and John W Henry has apologised to Liverpool fans.

But Graeme Souness says Woodward’s departure will be “just the beginning” as he criticised Henry’s attempt to Americanise a “proper country”.

“This is just the beginning,” he said on Sky Sports. “The supporters will not forgive the people who decided to go for this idea. They talk a good game, they tell us how much they love their football clubs, how they are behind it – but they have been shown to sell their soul basically.

“They were going to sell the souls of our major institutions. They were selling their souls for quick money. Our supporters will not forgive them. We are not America. Britain is a proper country. Yes we are not perfect, we are a proper country filled with proper people.

“I don’t know how these clubs will manage to get them onside and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I expect to see more people resign.

“The damage, if you imagine what has been going on, this has been on the go for months and months. These chairman have been going to Premier League meetings knowing their intention was to pull out. They have been so underhanded and this will be a relationship that will need some mending.

“The decision has been made in America, they have no idea how we view football in our country. They have got it wrong at every level. Is there a chance of it being revitalised? I don’t think so.

“You wouldn’t want to go nowhere near it. Man City money is not a problem for them. Roman Abramovich wont be hoping for a quick buck, but the rest of them might have been.

“Some of the Americans may have looked at this and wanted to get out in two years but they have been found out. How will the scousers take to John Henry after this? I don’t think he comes back after this.

“They will not forgive John Henry for this. It’s different for Abramovich, it seems like he has been dragged in, City have been dragged in by the Americans and the clubs in Spain who are by all accounts absolutely skint. The relationship between the fans and board will be damaged forever.”