Barely hours after a demonstration by fans in London, Chelsea then Manchester City, followed by the other signers, they are on their way to abandon their participation in the Premier League, a stillborn project.
This is the moment when everything changes, the click that knocks down the house of cards. Chelsea’s leaders have caved in to popular pressure, dragging with them 11 other opponents who supported the Premier League project against the UEFA Champions League and other European leaders. At 10:30 pm, Manchester City formalized its withdrawal from the project, the first club to do so.
Hundreds of fans from various English clubs, not just Chelsea, gathered on the outskirts of Stamford Bridge in the evening to peacefully express their rejection of the model promoted by six clubs in the Premier League. The climax of a day of high pressure. As of 22:30, no club has yet officially announced the withdrawal, but the uproar was urgent for City, Chelsea (a decision praised by Boris Johnson) and Atletico Madrid, while Barcelona finally wanted to present the idea to its members’ referendum.
Hence, hundreds of fans put their rivalry aside to spend an evening remembering what unites them in the face of what might distort football, according to their opinion. The project in question, which stipulated that 15 of the 20 places in the new competition will be automatically reserved to establish teams each year, angered nearly everyone, even before it was formalized on Sunday.
A fleeting dream
His life expectancy was already eroding at the start of the day, especially since the governments of many countries concerned with this reform had agreed that the speech would be heard by the majority. Several influencers in the industry as well as players have expressed their disgust. And since FIFA, led by Gianni Infantino, is this time intent on lending its frank and sincere support to Slovenian Alexander Ceferin in UEFA, the Premier League was in the dark even before it even existed.
Outside of Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, protesters in good spirit blocked traffic outside the main entrance to the stadium and even banned the Chelsea bus from entering. Even former club goalkeeper and current manager Petr Cech had to come out to ask the protesters to let him pass. The Czech goalkeeper tried to start a debate, but in the crowd, “Damn the Premier League” slogans repeated in the choir, drowned out by car horns that, by the way, sympathized with the cause accepted by the whole community. .
From Marcelo Bielsa to Jürgen Klopp, via Pep Guardiola, the coaches’ class has made no secret of their distrust of the Premier League, although for some their bosses have been wet about it. Only Zinedine Zidane and Andrea Pirlo, shy backers in the storm, did not join this party of critics, as the French technician did not dare to approach his administration head-on. And with good reason, the president of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, is none other than the instigator of this project, who was aspiring to impose a new deal. Sadly, his dream will be fleeting.