United KingdomUK PM Johnson hails exodus from soccer Super League project

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference at 10 Downing Street, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, April 20, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday welcomed a decision by six English Premier League clubs to quit the Super League project just 48 hours after they agreed to join Italian and Spanish teams in the controversial elite competition.

The English clubs capitulated under massive pressure from fans, politicians, soccer officials and even British royals who said the Super League would boost the power and wealth of the elite clubs and hurt the game. read more

"I welcome last night’s announcement," Johnson said. "This is the right result for football fans, clubs, and communities across the country. We must continue to protect our cherished national game."

The Super League had argued that it would increase revenues to the top clubs and allow them to distribute more money to the rest of the game.

The league, which was announced on Sunday with 12 founding members, has been championed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, the new competition's chairman. It is now left with three Italian clubs - AC Milan, Juventus (JUVE.MI) and Inter Milan - plus Perez's Real Madrid along with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid from Spain.

Manchester City were the first to back out of the venture and then Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur announced they were following suit.

The Super League issued a statement which suggested they may be suspending their project but stopped short of abandoning it altogether.

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