UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin sounded a conciliatory note as plans for a European Super League unravelled in the face of wide-ranging backlash.
Little more than a day after hitting out at a proposal he said was “fuelled purely by greed above all else,” Ceferin indicated a willingness to move forward with the clubs that have backed out of the breakaway league.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham all confirmed they were ending their involvement with the European Super League after a popular uproar about the plans.
“I said yesterday that it is admirable to admit a mistake and these clubs made a big mistake,” Ceferin said in a statement.
“But they are back in the fold now and I know they have a lot to offer not just to our competitions but to the whole of the European game.
“The important thing now is that we move on, rebuild the unity that the game enjoyed before this and move forward together.”
The English clubs’ withdrawal from the venture leaves Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Milan and Inter to continue, but it is unclear what shape the proposal might take with half of its projected participants no longer involved.
The European Super League said after the defections it would “reconsider the most appropriate steps to reshape the project”.
UEFA plans to move ahead with the Champions League revisions announced Monday in the face of whatever threat might remain from the Super League proponents.
Those plans include an increased field of 36 teams as the present format – whereby there are eight pools of four – will be scrapped.
Instead, each team will play 10 group games before advancing to a last-16 knockout format. The changes are due to be introduced for the 2024-25 season.