What the papers say

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Updated: 2 hours 46 min ago

Pérez says Super League clubs ‘cannot leave’ as Manchester United fans protest

Sat, 04/24/2021 - 16:45
  • Real Madrid president: ‘this project will move forward’
  • United fans’ ‘Glazers Out’ banners demand owners quit

The Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, said the 12 clubs announced last week as founders of the European Super League cannot abandon it due to binding contracts and promised the project would return soon.

Related: English fans’ ESL mobilisation in contrast to resignation in Europe | Ed Aarons

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Leeds v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 04/24/2021 - 09:00

In normal times Manchester United fans would be streaming east over the Pennines for this one. Instead there will be no scarves flapping from the windows of countless cars traversing the M62, no good humoured queues at Hartshead Moor services and no intense hostility between home and away supporters at Elland Road. If ever a fixture highlighted what football has lost since necessarily being moved behind closed doors it is this one. “A classic game,” as Marcelo Bielsa put it. The Leeds manager will be keen to atone for his side’s 6-2 reverse at Old Trafford earlier in the season but must cope without the injured Raphinha and Rodrigo and the suspended Liam Cooper. Edinson Cavani will doubtless fancy his chances of scoring a goal or two for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side. Louise Taylor

Sunday 2pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Manchester United’s Ed Woodward got one day’s notice of Super League launch

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 11:16
  • Executive vice-chairman not part of final discussions
  • He resigned after deciding he could not support project

Ed Woodward became aware of the European Super League’s launch only a day before its announcement, with Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman not part of that aspect of the decision-making process, the Guardian understands.

Woodward, a European Club Association board member until the start of this week, was not kept abreast of developments in the final days before the controversial project was confirmed on Sunday with United’s co-chairman Joel Glazer as one of its most senior figures.

Related: Ed Woodward’s Manchester United legacy is chequered but title is in sight again

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Manchester United and City tracking Aston Villa’s Carney Chukwuemeka

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 17:45
  • England Under-18 midfielder is also wanted abroad
  • West Ham join race for Norwich full-back Max Aarons

Carney Chukwuemeka, the 17-year-old Aston Villa midfielder rated as one of England’s most promising talents, is being tracked by a host of clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City, as he presses for his first-team breakthrough.

Chukwuemeka was an unused substitute in Villa’s home loss to Manchester City on Wednesday, having previously been unused in the home defeat against Leicester in February, and the manager, Dean Smith, appears minded to give him his opportunity in the final stretch of the season.

Related: Next Generation 2020: 60 of the best young talents in world football

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'I'm a Govan boy': clip from new Sir Alex Ferguson documentary – video

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 12:02

In this clip from a new documentary, 'Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In', the former Manchester United manager talks about his belief in the importance of a person's upbringing, citing his own youth in Glasgow and revealing how he used family pride to motivate his players

Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In will be in UK cinemas from May 27 and available on Amazon Prime Video in the UK & Ireland from May 29.

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Solskjær speaks to protesters after they enter Manchester United training ground

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 11:43
  • United manager addresses group of anti-Glazer protesters
  • Around 20 fans ‘gain access’ to Carrington training ground

The Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, spoke to a group of fans who took their protests against the Glazers to the club’s training ground on Thursday.

A group of around 20 fans gained access to United’s Carrington training base. A security guard confirmed the fans were at the facility for around 90 minutes and that police were called “pretty quickly” to disperse the group, who are understood to have left at around 10.30am.

Related: European Super League: anger grows over failed breakaway plans – live!

First team pitch: pic.twitter.com/lbVGzk9rhl

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Jesse Lingard considered break from football because of mental health issues

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 08:15
  • Lingard: ‘I didn’t want to play because my mind wasn’t there’
  • The England attacker has flourished during loan at West Ham

Jesse Lingard has revealed he considered taking a break from football last year because of mental health issues affecting him and his family but believes talking openly about his feelings since has helped to rejuvenate his career.

Lingard has scored nine times since moving to West Ham on loan from Manchester United in January to earn an England recall, having not played a minute in the Premier League for his parent club this season, and is expected to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for this summer’s European Championship.

Related: Foden leads Man City to win at Aston Villa despite red card for Stones

Related: Ryan Mason makes winning start at Tottenham thanks to Son’s penalty

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Manchester United and Liverpool plead for forgiveness for Super League fiasco

Wed, 04/21/2021 - 21:23
  • Manchester City also offer grovelling public apology to fans
  • Premier League wants ‘big six’ chiefs removed from committees

Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City have issued grovelling apologies to fans for the European Super League fiasco, demonstrating the scale of the damage caused across two tumultuous days.

While those clubs expressed contrition in public and pledged to rebuild trust, at Arsenal apologies were said behind the scenes. The chief executive, Vinai Venkatesham, met the first-team players at their London Colney base before training, convening them inside the dressing room. He is understood to have said sorry for the events of the previous 48 hours and taken questions.

Related: Uefa could be forced to alter Champions League plans amid backlash

Related: John W Henry apologises to Liverpool fans for Super League ‘disruption’

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ESL fallout: can big six owners regain the trust of their fans?

Wed, 04/21/2021 - 20:57

The super league saga has shone an unforgiving spotlight on the money men. We look at the breakaway bunch to see if there is a way back for them

Although it would be neat and tidy to say this episode has permanently damaged the relationship between Arsenal’s owners and the fanbase, that would assume one existed in the first place. Stan Kroenke’s absence from the spotlight has been a huge bone of contention for years, as has his general running of the club, and supporters have expressed their dissatisfaction at various games in the past. The silence from Kroenke and his son Josh on Arsenal’s planned Super League defection was hardly out of character and it did not go unnoticed that the club’s apology, published on Tuesday night, was signed by “the board” rather than the Kroenkes themselves.

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Ed Woodward’s Manchester United legacy is chequered but title is in sight again

Wed, 04/21/2021 - 15:11

Executive is seen as a ‘puppet’ of the Glazers but will leave with the club better placed to challenge than when he arrived

Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s most powerful executive: was he a success or failure in his time in the role that began in May 2013 and will end at the close of this year?

One answer is somewhere in between for the man who (almost certainly) failed to oversee a league title but who has turned United into genuine contenders for a 21st crown.

Related: Ed Woodward to quit Manchester United amid Super League fallout

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England’s big six pull out of European Super League: what they said

Wed, 04/21/2021 - 00:05

Arsenal went furthest in their statement, apologising to fans, but there were only brief announcements from Liverpool and Manchester United

The six Premier League clubs who had signed up to become members of a European Super League pulled out on Tuesday night, less than 48 hours after the competition had been announced. It was a startling collapse which began with news that Chelsea, who were playing Brighton at a Stamford Bridge surrounded by protesters, were about to abandon the project. In the end Manchester City became the first club to pull the plug.

Here is what the clubs had to say after their humiliating climbdown.

Related: All Premier League clubs quit Super League after FA ban warning

Related: Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel insists Super League owners ‘love competition’

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All Premier League clubs quit Super League after FA ban warning

Tue, 04/20/2021 - 23:11
  • FA ready to ban participating clubs from domestic football
  • Project left in tatters after English clubs walk away

The Premier League’s Big Six clubs were forced into humiliating U-turns after a day of intrigue and outrage to leave the proposal of a European Super League in tatters.

Chelsea were the first to brief their withdrawal and, after Manchester City announced they were following suit, the final four – Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham – read the final rites over the breakaway competition just before 11pm with statements that ranged from the terse to the shame-faced.

Related: Super League plans unravel as Chelsea and Man City withdraw – live!

pic.twitter.com/X2ZFqJ9T4L

Ok bye

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Ed Woodward to quit Manchester United amid Super League fallout

Tue, 04/20/2021 - 20:05
  • Executive vice-chairman due to go at end of 2021
  • Chelsea and Manchester City withdraw from ESL

Ed Woodward has resigned as Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman and will leave the club at the end of the year.

The 49-year-old’s decision comes after eight years in the role. While there will be speculation that the development was related to United signing up to the European Super League, sources at the club claimed that this was not the case and that his departure was amicable.

Related: Super League plans unravel as Chelsea and Man City withdraw – live!

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Chelsea fans protest against Super League as supporters unite in anger

Tue, 04/20/2021 - 18:25
  • Protest held outside stadium before game against Brighton
  • Fan groups of all six English clubs involved have spoken out

Supporters of English clubs due to join the European Super League have stepped up their opposition to the controversial project, with Chelsea fans protesting outside Stamford Bridge before the club’s home game against Brighton.

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has denounced the proposed breakaway as the “ultimate betrayal” and “unforgivable”. With similar sentiments echoed by fan groups across England’s so-called “Rich Six” clubs it is perhaps no surprise that two, Manchester City and Chelsea, are believed to be harbouring second thoughts about swapping the Champions League for the widely condemned new competition.

Related: ‘It’s not sport if you can’t lose’: Guardiola criticises Man City’s Super League plan

On the move #cfc pic.twitter.com/du4cL5P4ol

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‘I won’t renew my season ticket’: six fans on the fightback against the ESL

Tue, 04/20/2021 - 17:54

Supporters are protesting, contacting MPs, cancelling season tickets and emailing sponsors to express their anger

Fans of the six English clubs that have agreed to join the European Super League are writing to their MPs, organising protests and threatening not to renew club season tickets if the idea goes ahead. Supporters say they have cancelled memberships and plan to support local, less celebrated teams, away from the Premier League. Six fans told us why they feel so strongly about the Super League and what they are doing to express their dismay.

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The Guardian view on plans for a football Super League: offside by a mile | Editorial

Mon, 04/19/2021 - 19:00

The threat by 12 of Europe’s biggest football clubs to create a closed competition is a betrayal of the world’s most popular sport

In 1954, the Hungarian football masters of Honvéd were invited by Wolverhampton Wanderers to play a novel international friendly at the club’s Molineux stadium. Featuring the famous Ferenc Puskas, Honvéd were beaten 3-2, and the Daily Mail promptly anointed Wolves “champions of the world”. The watching editor of the French sports paper L’Équipe disagreed: “Before we declare that Wolverhampton are invincible,” wrote Gabriel Hanot, “let them go to Moscow and Budapest”.

Within a year the European Cup was up and running, fulfilling Hanot’s romantic vision of new horizons for the winners of national leagues. The competition, later re-branding as the Champions League, made sporting institutions such as Manchester United and Liverpool world-famous. But its ethos has just been comprehensively trashed by those clubs’ current owners, along with the directors of 10 other leading teams from England, Italy and Spain. Their threat to establish a closed Super League of 20 teams, unveiled at the weekend by Joel Glazer, the American owner of Manchester United, has struck at the integrity of the game.

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European Super League clubs promised €200m-€300m ‘welcome bonus’

Mon, 04/19/2021 - 16:34

JP Morgan commits €3.25bn to getting breakaway competition off the ground

The 12 football clubs that have signed up to a European Super League breakaway competition have each been promised a €200m-€300m “welcome bonus” by JP Morgan Chase, the US investment bank financing the controversial project.

The Wall Street giant said on Monday it has committed €3.25bn to getting the new league off the ground and that it would be shared between the clubs when the new competition begins.

Related: Premier League’s Big Six and why they want to join a European Super League

Plans for a European Super League would be very damaging for football and we support football authorities in taking action.

They would strike at the heart of the domestic game, and will concern fans across the country. (1/2)

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Premier League’s Big Six and why they want to join a European Super League

Mon, 04/19/2021 - 16:11

Each of the English clubs has its own particular ownership, motivation and financial situation that has led it to join the breakaway league

The bombshell that 12 top European clubs have joined a breakaway “super league”, presented as a fait accompli at 11.30pm on Sunday, is the culmination of some big clubs’ manoeuvrings for financial advantage over 25 years. But whereas Uefa bought off previous breakaway threats by expanding the Champions League and delivering more of its revenues to the top clubs – a time-served formula the Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin, still believed would work until the weekend – reality has ruthlessly bitten this time.

Related: Boris Johnson says government will try to stop European Super League

Related: Only someone who truly hates football can be behind a European super league | Jonathan Liew

Related: José Mourinho sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager

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Share your views on the European Super League

Mon, 04/19/2021 - 10:34

We would like to hear from fans of the ‘big six’ clubs in England and fans throughout Europe about the breakaway league

Six English football clubs, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, have said they will join a breakaway competition called the European Super League. Spanish clubs Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, as well as Italian sides Milan, Inter and Juventus have agreed to join the league.

We would like to hear the thoughts of football fans from across Europe – both those whose clubs have been invited to join the league and supporters of clubs who are not part of the plan.

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FA Cup, Premier League, EFL and Old Firm game: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Mon, 04/19/2021 - 08:00

Rodgers reaches his first English final, Spurs wait on Harry Kane’s ankle and Norwich make a welcome return

Brendan Rodgers’ previous FA Cup semi-final visit, in April 2015, ended in disaster, a deserved 2-1 loss with Liverpool to an Aston Villa team inspired by a teenage Jack Grealish. That was an afternoon when Liverpool froze but six years on, Rodgers is a manager with considerably more chops. His Leicester team approached their Sunday night visit to Wembley with poise, confidence and patience. On the sidelines, and even above the 4,000 fans in the stadium as part of a post-Covid experiment, Rodgers’s baritone was audible, talking his players through each passage of play. His suit is always reassuringly expensive but Rodgers remains a tracksuit manager, someone who mucks in with his players on the training field, and the revival of Kelechi Iheanacho, the winning goalscorer, is another example of his ability to improve talent. And a first final in English football is a mark of Rodgers’ continued growth as a manager. John Brewin

Related: Pep Guardiola left to ponder his fatal flaw with quadruple dream in ruins | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Tammy Abraham considering Chelsea future after FA Cup semi-final snub

Related: How Norwich made getting straight back to the Premier League look easy

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