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Clubs are preparing to withdraw from the European Super League, various news organisations are reporting.
Chelsea, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have reportedly pulled out, but it is understood Manchester United and Liverpool have not changed their position.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is understood to have driven the decision, having listened to fan protests and opted to pull out of the new European league plans.
It is the first of England’s Big Six clubs to choose to quit the competition, which was only announced on Sunday night.
The BBC said they “understand that Chelsea are preparing documentation to request withdrawing from the European Super League”.
There has been huge opposition to the plans in English football and fans celebrated in the streets around Stamford Bridge as the news was reported before the team’s Premier League home game with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Chelsea and the Super League company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Super League organisers, headed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, had said they hoped to add three more founding members before launching their competition “as soon as practicable”.
The Super League argues it would increase revenues to the top clubs and allow them to distribute more money to the rest of the game. However, the sport’s governing bodies, other teams and fan organisations say it will increase the power and wealth of the elite clubs and the closed structure of the league goes against European football’s long-standing model.
Unlike Europe’s current elite Champions League competition, where teams have to qualify through their domestic league, the founding Super League teams would guarantee themselves a place in the new competition every year.