Gary Neville raises a glass as Super League appears to crumble

Andy Sims, PA
·3 min read

Gary Neville toasted the apparent demise of the Super League with the controversial breakaway tournament seemingly on the verge of collapsing.

With Manchester City confirming they intend to withdraw and Chelsea understood to be pulling out, the proposed new venture looks doomed just 48 hours after it was announced.

When the news that Ed Woodward had resigned as Manchester United executive vice-chairman broke, Neville – an outspoken critic of the Super League – tweeted a waving emoji.

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The former United defender then posted a picture of himself drinking a glass of wine with the caption: “To the Super League.”

There had been reports that Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson had called a meeting of his fellow Premier League skippers, but he may now not need to.

He and a number of his Liverpool team-mates tweeted: “We don’t like it and we don’t want it to happen. This is our collective position.

“Our commitment to this football club its supporters is absolute and unconditional. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

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Henderson had handed over the running of his social account to an anti-bullying charity but said he was tweeting as himself because it “needs to be said”.

Neville’s fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, a former Liverpool defender, tweeted a picture of a headstone engraved with the inscription “European Super League, born April 18, 2021, died April 20, 2021.”

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Carragher added: “At Sky Sports yesterday I felt resigned to #SuperLeague happening, but during #MNF after hearing managers, players & fans from @LUFC @LFC I’m convinced if we all get together & forget our tribalism we can stop this. Keep banging the drum.”

Former Chelsea midfielder Pat Nevin, covering their match against Brighton on Tuesday night, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’m not going to make excuses for Chelsea, they got it wrong.

“But the best thing to do when you realise something is wrong is hold your hand up and get out of it. Chelsea might pat themselves on the back and say ‘we’ve destroyed this’.

“It is so obvious that it is going to fall apart now.”

Ex-England captain Gary Lineker posted the simple message: “We’ve got our ball back.”

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The Football Association thanked fans for their role in Tuesday night’s dramatic developments.

An FA statement said: “We welcome the news that some of the clubs have decided to abandon the plans for the European Super League, which threatened the whole football pyramid.

“English football has a proud history based on opportunity for all clubs and the game has been unanimous in its disapproval of a closed league. It was a proposition that, by design, could have divided our game; but instead, it has unified us all.

“We would like to thank the fans in particular for their influential and unequivocal voice during this time, holding true the guiding principles of football. It is a powerful reminder that the game is, and always will be, for fans.

“We would also like to thank the Prime Minister, Secretary of State and Sports Minister for their unwavering and critical support against these plans.”