Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs set to withdraw from controversial European Super League

The breakaway European Super League appeared to be collapsing on Tuesday night as reports emerged of clubs withdrawing and key personnel resigning.

Chelsea looked set to become the first of the 12 rebel clubs to quit the controversial project while Ed Woodward was understood to have resigned as Manchester United executive vice-chairman.

There were also reports that Manchester City Atletico Madrid and Barcelona were set to withdraw while there were conflicting claims in Italy over whether Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli was still holding the role.

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Later on Tuesday night it emerged that Arsenal would be withdrawing next followed by the remaining three Premier League clubs - Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham.

A banner hangs from one of the gates of Stamford Bridge stadium in London where Chelsea fans were protesting against Chelsea's decision to be included amongst the clubs attempting to form a new European Super League. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The PA news agency understands Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich drove the decision to remove his club from the competition amid widespread condemnation of the concept and considerable fan disquiet.

The Chelsea team were met by protesting supporters as they arrived at Stamford Bridge for their Premier League game against Brighton on Tuesday.

The Chelsea development was soon followed by claims that City would be following them out.

City refused to comment when contacted by the PA news agency.

Chelsea are preparing to withdraw from the European Super League. Owner Roman Abramovich is understood to have driven the decision, having listened to fan protests and opted to pull out of the new European league plans. (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

“We cannot comment for legal reasons,” said a spokesperson.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to Twitter, saying: “The decision by Chelsea and Manchester City is - if confirmed - absolutely the right one and I commend them for it. I hope the other clubs involved in the European Super League will follow their lead.”

The positions of United and Liverpool, two of the other members of English football’s ‘big six’ were thought not to have changed, although news also broke on Tuesday of Woodward’s decision.

Woodward, 49, who has been at the helm at Old Trafford since 2013, is thought to have played a key role in the development of the Super League.

It is understood he will continue he will remain at United in his current position until the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, there were conflicting reports in Italy as to whether Juventus chairman Agnelli was still in position at the club.

The Football Association welcomed the news that some clubs had decided to withdraw their support from the new competition.

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 thanks 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.”