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European Super League: Chelsea and Man City face pressure to pull out after unease over signing up

Gary Neville said today he believes Manchester City ‘are the most likely to crack’ under the pressure and backlash against a European Super League before he also suggested Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, along with his senior players, ‘could turn’ owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and make them consider backing out.

Chelsea and Manchester City appear to be the greatest hopes of derailing the controversial European Super League, with club bosses believed to be ‘losing their nerve’ amid mounting pressure from fans and Government.  

Neville tweeted: ‘(Manchester United owner) Joel Glazer won’t turn easily! Jurgen Klopp and the senior players could turn FSG. Man City most likely to crack. This isn’t for them! The other 3 will follow the lead of others.’

Arsenal and Tottenham are the other two clubs involved. 

Neville’s sentiments follow on from comments he made on Sky SportsMonday Night Football show where he shared his belief that Manchester City’s owners would not risk their ‘legacy’ by joining a breakaway competition. 

‘Why will the Abu Dhabi people build a network of football? What they have done is unbelievable to the east of Manchester,’ Neville said on Monday night. 

‘They created a legacy around there, arguably for marketing purposes. Why are they doing this? They don’t need money, they have got Pep [Guardiola], the most amazing manager. City must fold.’

Six teams from the Premier League, including Chelsea and Man City, signed up to the breakaway competition over the weekend as part of 12 founding teams in a move that rocked sport.

Gary Neville feels Manchester City are ‘most likely to crack’ and back out of the Super League

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour (right) is building 'a legacy' and Neville is convinced that the club will not jeopardise that by going through with plans for the Super League

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour (right) is building ‘a legacy’ and Neville is convinced that the club will not jeopardise that by going through with plans for the Super League 

Neville believes Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (second left), along with senior players, can force Reds' ownership group Fenway Sports Group into backing out of the Super League proposals

Neville believes Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (second left), along with senior players, can force Reds’ ownership group Fenway Sports Group into backing out of the Super League proposals 

Manchester City fans protested their club's involvement in the 12-team breakaway competition

Manchester City fans protested their club’s involvement in the 12-team breakaway competition

Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt suggested overnight, following a wave of criticism from supporters and senior Government figures, that two English teams were ‘wavering’ in their commitment to the breakaway. 

Chelsea and Manchester City are believed to be the least committed of the six English teams and pressure is continuing to increase for them to make a statement of intent by walking away. 

Neville’s colleague, Jamie Carragher, insisted just one of the ‘Big Six’ dropping out would cause the Super League to collapse.

Speaking after Liverpool midfielder James Milner and manager Klopp came out against the idea following a 1-1 draw with Leeds, Carragher said: ‘We need the same response from everyone, we cannot afford this to die away, we need to ramp this up. We should take our hats off that they [Milner and Klopp] have been bold enough to say this.

‘More and more clubs have to do this. As soon as one drops out, the rest will fall. I am so much more confident it can be stopped that I was at 2pm or 3pm, listening to Klopp and looking at social media. 

‘If one goes, the rest will fall like a pack of cards, I have a spring in my step. A lot of it was hinging on Klopp’s interview, as soon as we saw it, it gives you confidence.’ 

Tweeting a follow-up on Tuesday morning, Carragher added: ‘I’m convinced if we all get together & forget our tribalism we can stop this. Keep banging the drum.’ 

Complications could arise, however, after Real Madrid president, and the chairman of the European Super League, Florentino Perez insisted the 12 clubs who signed up have agreed to a ‘binding’ contract that prevents them from reneging on their decision.

‘The contract of the Super League is binding. Nobody can leave, we will work all together,’ Perez told Spanish television show El Chiringuito on Monday night.  

Florentino Perez has claimed the European Super League contracts are 'binding' for clubs

Florentino Perez has claimed the European Super League contracts are ‘binding’ for clubs

Sportsmail's Oliver Holt said overnight that two English teams 'are close to losing their nerve'

Sportsmail’s Oliver Holt said overnight that two English teams ‘are close to losing their nerve’

Sky Sports' Gary Neville feels Manchester City will be the first English side to walk away

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville feels Manchester City will be the first English side to walk away

Chelsea fans are expected to make their feelings known by protesting their involvement in the Super League prior to the Blues' Premier League match against Brighton on Tuesday night

Chelsea fans are expected to make their feelings known by protesting their involvement in the Super League prior to the Blues’ Premier League match against Brighton on Tuesday night

‘All the clubs signed the contracts last Saturday, there’s no problem,’ he added, when asked about potential for backtrack amid the criticism. 

Manchester City fans made the feelings known on Monday night as they produced banners outside the Etihad Stadium to protest their involvement in the new competition.

‘RIP MCFC’, one read, while another called on owner Sheikh Mansour to ‘sort it out’ and pull them out of the Super League.

Musician Liam Gallagher, who is a vocal and prominent Man City fan, tweeted: ‘C’mon MCFC do the rite thing f*** it off we’re better than this as we were.’

Chelsea fans are expected to produce a similar show of unity with banners of their own outside Stamford Bridge tonight ahead of their Premier League match against Brighton.  

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes one English team pulling out of their agreement for the European Super League would cause the breakaway league to 'collapse'

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes one English team pulling out of their agreement for the European Super League would cause the breakaway league to ‘collapse’

The issue of the potential for Europe’s elite to produce a closed-shop competition without relegation for the founding members was discussed by UK Government.

In the House of Commons on Monday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that in the first instance it would be for the football authorities to prevent the English clubs from going ahead with the Super League.

But, amid condemnation of the proposal from across the political spectrum, he said that if they were unable to do so, the Government would do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the national game.

He said they were examining every option ‘from governance to competition law to mechanisms that allow football to take place’.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised football fans furious at the proposals that he will do everything possible to give what he described as the ‘ludicrous’ European Super League a ‘straight red’.

Mr Johnson will hold an emergency meeting with officials and lawyers amid mounting and extreme fury over the plans, with Prince William, President of the FA, warning the proposals could ‘damage the game we love’.

In a statement released through the Kensington Palace Twitter account, the Duke of Cambridge, who is due to speak to FA chiefs about the issue later this week, said: ‘Now, more than ever, we must protect the entire football community – from the top level to the grassroots – and the values of competition and fairness at its core.

‘I share the concerns of fans about the proposed Super League and the damage it risks causing to the game we love.’

Plans for the European Super League were revealed on Sunday after it emerged that the six Premier League teams had signed up to join a breakaway competition ‘as soon as is practicable’.   

Along with the two Milan sides, Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and their city rivals Atletico, they are looking to create a near closed shop to replace UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League. 

Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are understood to have rejected the idea, although the plan is to expand the league to 15 founding members. Borussia Dortmund have confirmed they will not take part.

Major US bank JP Morgan, a former employer of Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, are debt financing the new league, which will see founding clubs receive £3.03billion, which is set against future broadcast revenue.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the competition 'ludicrous' and has vowed to stop it

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the competition ‘ludicrous’ and has vowed to stop it

In a statement from the European Super League organisers on Sunday night, confirming, it was explained that plans for their inaugural season are to see a ‘new midweek competition’. 

‘Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new midweek competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs,’ the statement began.

‘AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs.

‘It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable. 

‘Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole.’

Speaking after an emergency meeting, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: ‘UEFA and the footballing world stand united against the disgraceful self-serving proposal we have seen in the last 24 hours from a select few clubs in Europe that are fuelled purely by greed.

‘The players who will play in the teams that might be playing in the closed league will be banned from playing the World Cup, and so they will not be able to represent the national teams at any matches. 

‘Our sport has become greatest based on sporting merit and we cannot allow that to change, we will not ever.’

Portuguese newspaper A Bola ran a damning front page calling out 'The Dirty 12' - the clubs who have formed the breakaway European Super League

Diario AS in Spain showed off a football pitch split in two to show the damage a Super League is ripping through football

Europe’s newspapers reacted unanimously in anger at plans for a European Super League with Portuguese newspaper A Bola condemning ‘The Dirty 12’ who are breaking away; Diario AS in Spain showed off a football pitch split in two to show the damage of a Super League forming


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