Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher welcome demise of European Super League

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Gary Neville And Jamie Carragher Welcome Demise Of European Super League
Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher (left) and Gary Neville
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By Andy Sims, PA

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher toasted the demise of the Super League after the controversial breakaway tournament was disowned by English clubs.

On a dramatic Tuesday night Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal confirmed they intend to withdraw while Chelsea are understood to be pulling out.

Neville declared the Super League was finished when he appeared on Sky Sports after Chelsea’s draw against Brighton.

He said: “It’s absolutely incredible. There was large concern yesterday morning as a Manchester United fan thinking Joel Glazer put his name on a statement – you thought it’s going to be difficult to back down.

“But City have enacted withdrawal proceedings and Chelsea are doing the same. It’s gone, done!”

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When the news that Ed Woodward had resigned as Manchester United executive vice-chairman broke, Neville tweeted a waving emoji.

The former United defender then posted a picture of himself drinking a glass of wine with the caption: “To the Super League.”

Neville’s fellow Sky Sports pundit Carragher, a former Liverpool defender and a fellow outspoken critic of the Super League, tweeted a picture of a headstone engraved with the inscription “European Super League, born April 18, 2021, died April 20, 2021.”

Carragher claimed the comments of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, midfielder James Milner and Leeds striker Patrick Bamford after Monday night’s match helped swing the balance.

“I just think the reaction of everybody, Jurgen Klopp coming out last night, James Milner and Patrick Bamford,” he told Sky Sports.

“Yesterday afternoon I was fearful. It was really serious, it felt like there was no fight, that the ship had sailed.

“But after the game I felt reenergised and was confident this would be over after those players came out. That gave me a huge lift. I said as soon as one goes that’s the end of it, and it’s finished.

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“Klopp threw the owners under the bus, the captain (Jordan Henderson) has, Kenny Dalglish has. I don’t know what they are hanging on for. I don’t see a future for the ownership on the back of this.”

There had been reports that Liverpool skipper Henderson had called a meeting of his fellow Premier League captains, but he may now not need to.

He and a number of his Liverpool team-mates tweeted: “We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen. This is our collective position.

“Our commitment to this football club and its supporters is absolute and unconditional. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Henderson had handed over the running of his social account to an anti-bullying charity but said he was tweeting as himself because it “needs to be said”.

Brighton midfielder Adam Lallana saluted the role his former Liverpool team-mate Henderson played in driving the message home.

He told Sky Sports: “It’s surreal really. I had this funny feeling in my tummy all day and when we heard a couple of teams had pulled out it went.

“He’s proven on countless occasions he leads the captains and the football club.

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“We’re stronger than anything or anyone, all the clubs coming together as one.

“We didn’t want the Super League to happen, we want games like this to have meaning.”

Former Chelsea midfielder Pat Nevin, covering their match against Brighton on Tuesday night, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’m not going to make excuses for Chelsea, they got it wrong.

“But the best thing to do when you realise something is wrong is hold your hand up and get out of it. Chelsea might pat themselves on the back and say ‘we’ve destroyed this’.

“It is so obvious that it is going to fall apart now.”

Ex-England captain Gary Lineker posted the simple message: “We’ve got our ball back.”

Arsenal’s withdrawal statement included an apology for their involvement but it did not stop their former striker Ian Wright, a colleague of Lineker on the BBC’s Match of the Day, from calling for the departure of owner Stan Kroenke.

Wright tweeted simply: “#KroenkeOut”

The Football Association thanked fans for their role in Tuesday night’s dramatic developments.

An FA statement said: “We welcome the news that some of the clubs have decided to abandon the plans for the European Super League, which threatened the whole football pyramid.

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“English football has a proud history based on opportunity for all clubs and the game has been unanimous in its disapproval of a closed league. It was a proposition that, by design, could have divided our game; but instead, it has unified us all.

“We would like to thank the fans in particular for their influential and unequivocal voice during this time, holding true the guiding principles of football. It is a powerful reminder that the game is, and always will be, for fans.

“We would also like to thank the Prime Minister, Secretary of State and Sports Minister for their unwavering and critical support against these plans.”

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