Two of the Premier League’s rebel six clubs are said to be reconsidering their decision to sign up to the European Super League as the first cracks appear in the roundly criticised plan.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have joined five clubs from Italy and Spain in signing up for the new league, with their decision rocking the football world on Sunday.
With the remaining 14 Premier League clubs set to hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss their options – which including kicking the rebel six out of the league – it is said that two of the English sides are beginning to pull back from the plan.
Oliver Holt, the Chief Sports Writer for the Mail on Sunday, tweeted in the early hours of Tuesday: “Hearing the first cracks may be beginning to appear in the ugly, misshapen edifice of the ESL. Told two English clubs are close to losing their nerve.”
Liverpool were the first of the rebel clubs to play since the announcement on Monday night, when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Leeds United at Elland Road.
The Reds squad were greeted with jeers when they arrived at the stadium, with Leeds players warming up in t-shirts featuring the slogans ‘Football is for the fans’ and ‘Earn it’ with reference to Champions League qualification.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp and midfielder James Milner became the first figures at clubs involved in the breakaway to criticise the plan.
Klopp said: “I do not think it is a great idea.
“I like the fact that West Ham might play in the Champions League next year. I don’t want them to, to be honest, because we want to do that, but I like that they have the chance.
“One thing I can understand people think is not right is the competitiveness. I can understand the fans are angry.”
Milner added: “I can only say my own personal opinion. I don’t like it and hopefully it doesn’t happen.”