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19th Apr 2021

Man Utd and Arsenal step down from European Club Association

Charlie Herbert

Stan Kroenke and Ed Woodward

They’ve already started burning bridges

Manchester United and Arsenal have quit as members of the European Club Association (ECA), after they announced their intentions to be part of a new breakaway so-called ‘European Super League.’

United executive vice-chairman of the club Ed Woodward has also resigned from his role at UEFA despite having been involved in conversations surrounding the changing of the Champions League format from 2024.

Six English clubs have announced their intention to join the new competition, including Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City.

The other European clubs involved are Barcelona, Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.

United are clearly positioning themselves as one of the leading members of the new competition, with the club’s co-chairman Joel Glazer announced as vice-chairman of the Super League.

In a statement, Glazer said, per the Daily Mirror: “By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid.”

It seems that whilst Woodward was involved in discussions around how the Champions League could be revamped from 2024 onwards, he was also in the process of plotting the breakaway super league with other clubs behind UEFA’s back.

UEFA are planning to expand the Champions League to 36 teams from 2024, altering the format in the process and guaranteeing more games for teams involved.

In November, addressing the prospect of any breakaway tournament involving the Red Devils, Woodward told a United fans’ forum: “What I can assure you of is that we will keep match-going fans firmly in the centre of our thoughts.”

I’ll leave that up to you as to whether you think this new tournament fulfils that statement…