Former European Club Association (ECA) chairman Andrea Agnelli was one of the men behind the formation of the breakaway European Super League (ESL). The Juventus president stepped down from his ECA role after the official announcement of the ESL
However, the European Super League collapsed just after 48 hours from its official announcement. After strong protest from fans worldwide, Manchester City and Chelsea were the first clubs to pull out from the ESL, followed by the other Premier League clubs, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Later, Spanish club Atletico Madrid and Italian side Inter Milan also withdrew from the European Super League. The clubs released official statements confirming their withdrawals. AC Milan, Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid are still in it, even though the chance of the Super League happening is nil.
The statement confirming Al-Khelaifi’s appointment said: ‘Following the unprecedented events of recent days which has seen attempts to undermine the entire European football community, ECA – representing the leading football clubs of Europe – welcomes the decision from its former member clubs not to pursue their purported ‘Super League’ project, following the seismic and universal condemnation of the project by the entire football community and across society as a whole.’
‘ECA firmly believes this project could not succeed because football, at its core, is based on openness, sporting excellence and an inherent connection between everyone across the football family.’
‘Football is for everybody. Recent events have been a reminder that club owners are merely custodians of their clubs, which are historic beacons that mean so much to fans and their communities.’
‘ECA believes that it is the responsibility of every member club to ensure that we develop football and leave it in a better place for the next generation; not to dismantle it purely for financial gain.’
Al-Khelaifi said after being appointed as the ECA chairman: ‘I am honoured and humbled to have been appointed by my fellow ECA executive board members as chairman.’
‘The leadership, integrity and togetherness of our organisation has never been more required than at this pivotal moment in European football.’
‘I will provide my unconditional commitment to the entire football community: that means to all ECA member clubs from every European nation, and to the fans and communities they represent.’
‘I, alongside all my fellow ECA board members and clubs, am looking to reinforce ECA in its role as the legitimate and singular voice of Europe’s clubs.’
‘Our game, adored by generations of supporters, will only prosper under unity, and it is our duty as the custodians of football to fulfil this obligation.’