The European Club Association have confirmed that the nine sides that abandoned plans to join the rebel Super League have been welcomed back into the organisation.
The 12 teams that voiced their intention to form the Super League in April all walked away from the ECA to push ahead with their plans, only for nine of those sides – AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Inter, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – to quickly backtrack and apologise.
Those nine teams have since accepted punishments from UEFA and have agreed to leave the past in the past, and as a further step back towards normality, the ECA have confirmed that each side has had its membership reinstated.
“In its decision, and after an exhaustive process of re-engagement by the clubs and re-assessment by ECA over recent months, the ECA Executive Board took into consideration the clubs’ acknowledgement that the so-called European Super League project (“ESL Project”) was not in the interests of the wider football community and their publicly communicated decisions to abandon said ESL Project completely,” a statement read.
“The ECA Board also acknowledged the Clubs’ stated willingness to engage actively with ECA in its collective mission to develop European club football – in the open and transparent interests of all, not the few.
“This decision of the ECA Board marks the end of a regrettable and turbulent episode for European football and aligns with ECA’s relentless focus to strengthen unity in European football. Through this period of unprecedented challenge, ECA has firmly established itself as the only organisation through which the leading clubs in Europe can promote and protect their interests in football, whilst also developing the competition landscape and reinforcing the centrality of clubs in the governance of European football.
“ECA can now proceed with renewed unity and solidarity to continue the important work needed to stabilise and develop European club football – at a time when this is needed the most.”
Those nine teams have moved on, but the three that remain determined to form the Super League – Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid – remain on the outside.
Despite losing backing from every team in the continent, the three rebel teams continue to fight for the introduction of a Super League, which they maintain is necessary to protect the future of football.
They have even pursued legal action to prevent UEFA from punishing them for their plans, but Europe’s governing body are not interested and plan to get as harsh as possible with their sanctions for the three remaining teams.