Manchester United Co-Chairman, Joel Glazer, and Liverpool Principal Owner, John Henry, have both apologised to the fans of their respective clubs for registering the entities for the now-ditched European Super League (ESL).
United, Liverpool and four other Premier League sides withdrew from the ESL on Tuesday after a backlash.
In a rare public statement by Glazer on Tuesday, the Manchester United boss said the club “apologise unreservedly for the unrest” caused by the proposed European Super League.
“We failed to show enough respect for its deep-rooted traditions,” Glazer said in an open letter to fans.
The 50-year-old admitted efforts “in seeking to create a more stable foundation for the game” did not honour the conventions of promotion and relegation within the wider football pyramid.
“For that we are sorry,” he said. “This is the world’s greatest football club and we apologise unreservedly for the unrest caused during these past few days.
“Manchester United has a rich heritage and we recognise our responsibility to live up to its great traditions and values.”
Glazer said they will work to “rebuild relationships” across football “with a view to working together on solutions to the long-term challenges facing the football pyramid”.
“We also realise that we need to better communicate with you, our fans, because you will always be at the heart of the club,” he continued.
Earlier on Wednesday, Henry in a video took sole responsibility for the “unnecessary negativity”, saying: “In this endeavour I’ve let you down.
“The project put forward was never going to stand without the support of the fans.
“Over these 48 hours you were very clear that it would not stand. We heard you. I heard you.”
Ferran Soriano, chief executive of Premier League leaders Manchester City – another of the English clubs involved in the proposal – apologised in an email to the club’s supporters.
“We failed to remind ourselves of the unbreakable link between the passion of our fans and the right to have the opportunity to earn success. It is a truth that is fundamental to the DNA of Manchester City and the board deeply regrets taking a decision that lost sight of the historic values of the club,” he said.
“We made a mistake and we sincerely apologise to our fans for the disappointment, frustration and anguish caused by the last 72 hours.”
In a video released by Liverpool, Henry also apologised to Klopp, the players and chief executive Billy Hogan, promising to do all he could to win back the supporters’ trust.
“They have absolutely no responsibility for this disruption,” added Henry. “They were the most disrupted, and unfairly so. This is what hurts most. They love your club and work to make you proud every single day.”
Following the English clubs’ withdrawal, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan announced their withdrawal on Wednesday morning, followed by statements from AC Milan and Juventus.
Juventus Chairman, Andrea Agnelli, said the European Super League (ESL) project cannot proceed following the withdrawal of the teams.
Agnelli was one of the chief architects of the breakaway plans, which involved 12 clubs from England, Spain and Italy.
“I remain convinced of the beauty of that project, of the value that it would have developed to the pyramid, of the creation of the best competition in the world, but evidently no. I don’t think that project is now still up and running.”
In a statement, Juventus said there were “limited chances that the project be completed in the form originally conceived” but that the club “remains convinced of the soundness of the project’s sport, commercial and legal premises”.
In announcing their withdrawal on Wednesday, Atletico Madrid said “harmony is essential” between the club and the fans, and added that the first-team squad and coach Diego Simeone had backed their decision because “sporting merits must prevail over any other criteria”.
In their statement, Serie A side Inter Milan said they were “committed to giving fans the best football experience”, adding: “Our engagement with all stakeholders to improve the football industry will never change.”
AC Milan said “the voices and the concerns of fans around the world have clearly been expressed” about the plans and the club “must be sensitive to the voice of those who love this wonderful sport”.
“Despite the announced departure of the English clubs, forced to take such decisions due to the pressure put on them, we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations,” the ESL said earlier on Wednesday, adding it was “convinced that the current status quo of European football needs to change”.