After plans for a European Super League were announced, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal resigned from the European Club Association (ECA), and Ed Woodward stepped down from his role with UEFA.
Twelve clubs, including United and Arsenal, agreed to form a breakaway league that would be run by the founding clubs, according to a statement released late Sunday night.
Both clubs have resigned from the ECA as a result of their decision to enter the Super League, and Woodward will no longer hold his UEFA post, while Arsenal CEO Vinai Venkatesham has resigned from his position on the ECA board, signaling the club’s intent to step forward with this contentious initiative.
In September 2017, United’s executive vice-chairman Woodward was appointed as an ECA representative to UEFA’s Professional Football Strategy Council. He used to advise and assist in the structure of European football’s governing body, but now that the ESL has broken away from UEFA’s traditional European competitions, he will no longer be in that position.
Venkatesham, on the other hand, was only elected to the ECA board two months ago. “We’re delighted that Vinai has been appointed to the European Clubs’ Association board,” the club said at the time. “The ECA represents clubs across Europe and is central to helping shape the future of the game with UEFA and FIFA.”
Joel Glazer, United’s co-owner, has been appointed vice-chair of the new league.
Both clubs’ participation in the breakaway league means they will no longer be members of the ECA, the professional body that represents clubs competing in UEFA competitions. This is yet another sign that the 12 founding clubs are serious about seeing their new league succeed.
Chelsea followed suit and left the ECA, as reported by sources on Monday morning.
In a statement issued late Sunday, the following was stated: “Twelve of Europe’s top football clubs have announced today that they have agreed to form the Super League, a new mid-week competition controlled by the founding clubs.
“As founding clubs, AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined. A total of three clubs are expected to enter ahead of the inaugural season, which is expected to begin as soon as possible.
“In the future, the founding clubs look forward to meeting with UEFA and FIFA to discuss how they can work together to achieve the best results for the new League and for football as a whole.”