Chelsea among three Premier League clubs 'wobbling' over European Super League plans after furious fan backlash

CHELSEA are 'wobbling' over their commitment to the European Super League and are one of three teams cracking under pressure after a furious fan backlash.

A well-placed source says the Blues' hierarchy have been taken aback by the violent opposition to the plans as 'doubts have grown in several English clubs in the last 24 hours'.



The source said the powers that be at Chelsea 'didn't expect this kind of backlash', adding: "Everything is in movement."

Chelsea and Manchester City have privately claimed that they agreed to the proposed 20-team breakaway competition reluctantly.

Their version of events is that ringleaders Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool, together with their co-conspirators, contacted them only on Friday to say the project was go.

Stamford Bridge and Etihad chiefs signed up in fear of missing out on the lucrative new league.

But the fact remains that their owners – billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich and the Abu Dhabi state, via Sheikh Mansour – are not short of wealth and are involved in football as much for political reasons as money.

They, along with Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal comprise the 'Big Six' elite in England who have signed up for the 'biggest shake-up in soccer' in thirty years.

All together, 12 European teams have announced the setting up of a new league in which they will be free of relegation fears.

The bombshell announcement has drawn stinging criticism from governments, governing bodies, supporters and rival teams around the world.

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Bild claim there could be as many as three Premier League clubs getting cold feet and that if they break ranks it will bring the whole idea crashing down before it even gets going.

The remaining 14 top-flight clubs met today to discuss how to fight back against the proposals and how they will challenge the six rebels.

A Premier League statement said: "The Premier League, alongside The FA, met with clubs today to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal.

"The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.

"The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those Shareholders involved to account under its rules.

"The League will continue to work with key stakeholders including fan groups, Government, Uefa, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately.

"The Premier League would like to thank fans and all stakeholders for the support they have shown this week on this significant issue. The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people."

MORE ON SUPER LEAGUE OUTRAGE

  • PICTURED: How it began with secret meeting at Dorchester
  • Three of 'Big Six' 'cracking under pressure'
  • PM vows new laws and backs Prem to kick out rebels
  • EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea stars express concern at team meeting
  • Uefa make direct plea to 'Big Six' to make U-turn
  • PICTURED: Fan protests around the country
  • THE SUN SAYS: Super League has united just about everyone in outrage
  • LIVE BLOG: The latest European Super League news and updates

Chelsea fans are among those outraged at their club's behaviour.

They have asked for banners inside the club's Stamford Bridge stadium to be taken down and will protest outside the ground this evening before the home game against Brighton.

And as revealed by SunSport, the club's players were left shocked, gutted and confused when they were told the club was part of the Dirty Dozen.

Blues chairman Bruce Buck called a meeting of the players in an attempt to explain why they were signing up to the European Super League.

But the news did not go down well with the squad, with individuals concerned about the damage it threatens to do to the game.

Those fears only grew when it became clear Uefa were threatening to throw them out of the Champions League.

Liverpool were due to stage a Zoom call with the owners, Fenway Sports Group, this morning to update and inform the club's employees about the Super League plans.

But this meeting was canned soon after full-time of last night's 1-1 draw at Leeds.

Chief executive Billy Hogan sent an email to staff on Monday to begin to explain the club's actions – which have drawn particular criticism from Sky Sports pair Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, writing in The Sun, assured English football fans he will do all in his power to stop the Super League from going ahead.

He said: "You only need a pulse to know that football is not a brand or a product. In fact it’s so much more than even a sport.

"A year of empty stadiums has reminded us all that football without fans is an altogether more anaemic spectacle.

Fans massively against ESL

A YOUGOV snap poll has revealed football fans are overwhelmingly against the proposed European Super League, see it is a huge money grab and will not watch the matches if it goes ahead…

· 79 per cent of football fans oppose the creation of European Super League, 68 per cent strongly oppose it; just 14 per cent support it

· Half of football fans (51 per cent) think ‘big six’ European Super League clubs should be kicked out of the Premier League; 55 per cent think they should face financial penalties; 32 per cent think they should face points deductions; 22 per cent think they should be stripped of existing domestic titles; only 10 per cent think there should be no punishments whatsoever

· 75 per cent say they are not interested in watching the ESL when it begins

· Just 3 per cent say the formation of ESL was driven by fans’ desire; 89 per cent say it was driven more by financial gain

· 75 per cent say clubs down the football pyramid will suffer financially from the ESL formation; only 7 per cent think they will benefit

· 73 per cent think football club owners should face punishments; 51 per cent want to see clubs themselves face punishments

"It is your game – and you can rest assured that I’m going to do everything I can to give this ludicrous plan a straight red."

And the PM reiterated his promise by threatening new laws surrounding the plot – and backed Premier League bosses to kick the so-called 'Big Six' out it they want to.

Johnson vowed to do all he could to stop it from going ahead in a meeting with top footie bosses.

Downing Street said today the PM 'expressed his solidarity with football fans and agreed they must always be at the heart of any decisions about the future of the game'.

The PM urged clubs who were reported to be wobbling to pull back from the brink.

No10 said: "The Prime Minister confirmed the government will not stand by while a small handful of owners create a closed shop.

"He was clear that no action is off the table and the government is exploring every possibility, including legislative options, to ensure these proposals are stopped."

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