UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin declared himself “delighted” as Manchester City withdrew from the European Super League
City announced their intention to join the controversial breakaway league as a founder member on Sunday night.
But within 48 hours, they became the first club – Chelsea have also begun the process – to formally announce their exit.
For UEFA chief Ceferin, who has been fighting tooth and nail to keep the Champions League as Europe’s premier club competition, it is a major victory – and the first step in killing the ESL.
A City statement confirmed simply: ” Manchester City Football Club can confirm that it has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League.”
That led a jubilant Ceferin to welcome their decision and declare his intent to work with the club “for a better future” after admitting “a mistake”.
A statement from the UEFA president said: “I am delighted to welcome City back to the European football family.
“They have shown great intelligence in listening to the many voices – most notably their fans – that have spelled out the vital benefits that the current system has for the whole of European football; from the world beating Champions League final right down to a young player’s first coaching session at a grassroots club.
“As I said at the UEFA Congress, it takes courage to admit a mistake but I have never doubted that they had the ability and common sense to make that decision.
“City are a real asset for the game and I am delighted to be working with them for a better future for the European game.”
City’s decision came after boss Pep Guardiola declared the plans for the Super League threaten to make football “not a sport”.
The Catalan declared: “If you ask me why these teams have been selected to play this hypothetical competition in the future… sport, is not a sport when the relationship between effort and reward does not exist.
“It is not a sport if success is guaranteed or if it doesn’t matter when you lose.
“I have said many times I want a successful Premier League, not just one team at the top. I don’t know if the statement will change and four or five teams will be able to go up.”
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