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‘I hope others follow their lead’: UK PM Johnson commends Chelsea and Man City as clubs set to pull out of Super League

‘I hope others follow their lead’: UK PM Johnson commends Chelsea and Man City as clubs set to pull out of Super League
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has praised Chelsea and Manchester City as the two clubs were set to extricate themselves from the ill-fated European Super League (ESL).

Amid ongoing outrage from fans, the news broke on Tuesday night that Chelsea and Man City would look to back out of the breakaway ESL just hours after announcing they were among the 12 rebel clubs who would be part of the controversial new project.

The pair had been among six English teams – along with Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool – who were founder members of the ESL, which would be headed up by Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez.  

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Criticism of the plans had spewed forth ever since they were announced on Sunday night, with UEFA and FIFA both suggesting that any players participating in the league would be banned from international football.

Threats were also suggested that the clubs should be kicked out of domestic competitions such as the English Premier League.

UK leader Johnson had been among the most prominent politicians to condemn the plans for the Super League, with claims it would lead to a ‘closed shop’ among the European footballing elite, disregarding the notion of free competition and also trampling over the wishes of fans.

As it emerged on Tuesday that City and Chelsea were set to walk away, Johnson urged others to follow in their footsteps.

“The decision by Chelsea and Manchester City is – if confirmed – absolutely the right one and I commend them for it,” Johnson tweeted.

“I hope the other clubs involved in the European Super League will follow their lead.”

Elsewhere, UK secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, vowed a review to ensure that "this never happens again." 

"Good news that Chelsea and City have seen sense, and I urge the rest to follow swiftly," Dowden wrote. 

"The whole ESL move shows how out-of-touch these owners are. They have completely misjudged the strength of feeling from fans, players and the whole country. Football is for the fans.

"Our fan-led review will still happen and I remain convinced of the need for reform. We must make sure this never happens again."

Speaking on Monday, Johnson had said he didn’t “like the look of these proposals” for the Super League and that they would be “very damaging for football.” 

The UK government had also suggested it would look at legal means to stop the six rebel English teams from joining the league by using “a legislative bomb.”

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That will likely not be necessary now, as the nascent ESL seems set for crisis talks over whether it can go ahead at all, following one of the most astonishing and turbulent 48-hour periods football has ever seen.

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