Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward insists there will be no ‘revival of the Super League plans’ following the collapse of the controversial proposal.
Europe’s elite clubs announced plans for a breakaway competition earlier this month with the proposal condemned by players, managers, supporters and football’s governing bodies as a show of unprecedented greed.
Each of the Premier League‘s ‘big six’, alongside leading clubs from Spain and Italy, were involved in plans for the tournament which included guaranteed annual entry for founding clubs in what presented a huge threat to the sport’s integrity.
The plans were withdrawn just 48 hours later following an angry backlash from supporters across the world, with the fall-out having led to calls for change on football’s ownership laws.
Woodward was amongst the leading figures behind the plans and has since announced he will be stepping down from his position at Manchester United at the end of the season, with the club chief having now revealed there will be no ‘revival’ of plans for a breakaway.
“We will provide as many answers as we can today but, mostly, we want to listen,” Woodward told a Manchester United fans forum. “It’s clear we did not do enough of that before the Super League decision.
“I would like to add my personal apology to this Forum. I know you will feel angry and let down by the lack of consultation and the way the proposal failed to recognise the vital principle of open competition. Proper discussion would have helped us avoid the mistake we made.
“As Joel (Glazer) said last week, we failed to give enough weight to the essential principles and traditions of sporting merit. We want to restate our commitment to those traditions.
“I can assure you that we have learned our lesson and we do not seek any revival of the Super League plans.
“Manchester United is fortunate to be in a relatively stronger position than many clubs because of the resilience of our self-sustaining model.
“We have a disciplined, long-term approach which has allowed us to navigate the pandemic, while continuing to invest in the team, which we will continue to do this summer.
“We will now continue working with the rest of the football community to address the long-term challenges facing the game.
“But I can assure you that we will be doing that with great sensitivity to the opinions that you and other fans have expressed in recent days.”