European Super League: Premier League 'big six' took slap over plans - Steve Bruce

The ‘big six’ Premier League clubs have “taken a slap” over their involvement in the European Super League, says Newcastle manager Steve Bruce.

Fan protests were held after Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham agreed to join the breakaway league.

All six English clubs had withdrawn from the competition by Wednesday.

“It was pretty obvious to everyone we weren’t going to accept it, which was terrific,” Bruce said.

Nine of the initial 12 teams have now withdrawn from the ESL, although Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says the competition is only on “standby”.

“The supporters have been heard and rightly so,” said Bruce, whose side are away to Liverpool, one of the clubs who tried to break away, on Saturday at 12:45 BST.

"To bring it down and bring it down so quickly, fair play to all the supporters."

Perez said that the league was formed to attract a younger audience to football and recoup income lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, critics said the move was driven purely by money and would destroy domestic leagues.

Bruce, who won three Premier League titles at Manchester United as a player, credited the lower divisions for giving him a start in his career, having made his professional debut in the third tier with Gillingham in 1979.

“I’m all for the pyramid in this country and I’m all for the way it works,” he said.

“Thankfully the big six have taken a slap. This thing must have been rumbling on for years, so we must guard against it.”

Original article 23.04.21 on the BBC Sport website

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