United Kingdom

Desperate Super League organisers 'believe modified version of the competition can still go ahead'

All six English clubs involved in the European Super League are yet to formally leave the hated competition – with organisers claiming that the botched masterplan will relaunch, according to a report.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea all withdrew from the European Super League within 72 hours of the seismic change to the sport being dramatically announced in April. 

A spate of public apologies and pledges to resist revisiting the doomed idea followed, but the so-called Bix Six allegedly remain co-owners and shareholders of a holding company in Spain, with senior sources close to the venture claiming there is 'no mechanism' for withdrawal and the league will be relaunched, The Times has said.  

The European Super League could resume despite angry fan protests against the doomed idea

Twelve clubs were announced as participants in April before the scheme was swiftly shelved

Organisers are said to believe that the hugely controversial plan is even more vital amid the financial crisis caused by Covid-19, with a senior source reportedly saying: 'The owners know this is not the end — it's just the beginning.

'We will resume dialogue, whether this year or next year. It's just financial gravity. Football can't survive in its current form.'  

The six clubs were fined a total of £22m in total earlier this month, agreeing to pay £25m each and lose 30 points if they attempt to exhume the scheme that was plotted in secret and drew unanimous fan fury.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has consistently insisted that the 12 clubs behind the concept have 'binding contracts'. His own club, arch-rivals Barcelona and Italian giants Juventus have not abandoned the league.

Liverpool owner John Henry (left) apologised while Florentino Perez said the league will return

Serie A champions Inter Milan, neighbours AC Milan and La Liga winners Atletico Madrid also pulled out in the swiftly shunned farce, which caused a fierce backlash including protests outside Premier League grounds and a threat of government legislation. 

Arsenal were quoted as saying: 'We have been absolutely clear we are withdrawing from the ESL. This is subject to a legal process which is under way.' 

United were also said to have responded: 'The club has no intention to revisit the Super League concept. Any suggestion otherwise is simply an attempt to mislead our fans.'

Governing bodies UEFA and FIFA both condemned the proposals and warned that any teams involved would be banned from their leagues, including the outlawing of players from international competition.

Man United's hierarchy received a fierce backlash as part of demonstrations outside stadiums

Super League representatives believe that breaches competition laws because it prevents clubs from breaking away, and have filed a case with the European Court of Justice in a bid to establish whether the organisations have the exclusive right to organise competitions.

A source close to the competition is said to have affirmed: 'It's our belief we will win that case based on precedent in other sports and it will pave the way for the Super League to eventually relaunch in a modified form.

A Tottenham club spokesperson said: 'Our statements have made clear that we are withdrawing from the ESL.

'We have given our assurances to the relevant governing bodies and have drawn a line under this now.'

Sportsmail has contacted each of the other five clubs for comment.

According to The Times, several of the teams acknowledged they are still part of the European Super League Company, adding that they were determined to leave.

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