London (AFP) – British newspapers hailed a “defeat over greed” and a victory for fans on Wednesday after all six English clubs withdrew from the European Super League, leaving the controversial project in tatters.
The Super League promised annual games between the world’s richest clubs, which were guaranteed a spot each year and stood to earn billions of dollars.
But after a storm of condemnation from outraged fans and legal threats from football authorities, the breakaway league’s “dirty dozen” were reduced to six as the English clubs pulled out.
In Britain the Super League garnered ironic praise from the press for having done the impossible: uniting fans, players, politicians, and even members of the royal family in condemnation.
The Sun, one of the country’s biggest tabloids, led the storm of celebrations over the collapse of the “despised” plans, with a front-page splash bidding “Cheerio, Cheerio, Cheerio” to the Super League and hailing the “victory for fans”.
Irreverent competitor the Daily Star called the league’s organisers “a laughing stock” and praised fans for scuppering the project with their vehement opposition.
The Daily Mail lauded the “Defeat over Greed”, commending supporters for pressuring their teams’ withdrawal, while the Daily Mirror said the move gave “new hope for football”.
Across the channel, French sports paper L’Equipe — which Tuesday praised European football giants Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich for refusing to join the Super League — said English fans had “sunk” the plans.
Despite English clubs having been at the heart of the project, the paper said, grassroots fans had united to bring down the “plotters” behind the super league.
“English football will emerge proud of this fight, which collectively helped them remember their history, their responsibility, and their place in the community,” the paper said.
The Spanish sports daily Marca said the Super League was “over”, crediting English fans for bringing the project to its knees.
The paper said the Super League had gone “Super Ridiculous” on its Wednesday front page, describing it as now “mortally wounded” — despite a statement from the six remaining teams, three of which are Spanish, that they will press on.
In Italy, home to the other three remaining clubs, La Gazzetta dello Sport said it was really the “fist of politics” that had brought down the league — uniting everyone from the international press to the European Commission and political leaders in condemnation.
The paper compared the project to a dam made of cardboard, and mocked the Super League for lasting as long as “a cat on a motorway”.