Ferran Soriano, the chief executive of Manchester City, has apologised to the club’s fans for their role in the European Super League saga.
City became the first club to officially pull out of the ill-fated project on Tuesday evening following a huge backlash against proposals for the breakaway competition. The other five Premier League clubs involved soon followed them out and senior officials at some of them have since apologised.
Soriano has now done so too, sending an email to supporters on Wednesday evening.
The Spaniard wrote: “As you know, Manchester City has formally enacted the procedures to withdraw from the group developing plans for a European Super League.
“As always, when we make choices and decisions, we do so with the best interests of the club in mind and we believed that being part of such an initiative could give us a voice that might be imperative to our future ability to succeed and grow.
“However, in making that choice 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. We made a mistake and we sincerely apologise to our fans for the disappointment, frustration and anguish caused by the last 72 hours.
“I want to personally assure you that the owners, chairman, board and staff are completely committed to ensuring that the club continues to contribute meaningfully to the ongoing well-being of both the English and European football pyramids and their associated competitions.
“We will embrace the opportunity to earn back the full trust of our stakeholders and the football family in general.”
UEFA welcome back City
When City’s intention to quit the ESL emerged, it was a relief for UEFA.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “I am delighted to welcome City back to the European football family.
“They have shown great intelligence in listening to the many voices – most notably their fans – that have spelled out the vital benefits that the current system has for the whole of European football; from the world-beating Champions League final right down to a young player’s first coaching session at a grassroots club.
“As I said at the UEFA Congress, it takes courage to admit a mistake. But I have never doubted that they had the ability and common sense to make that decision.
“City are a real asset for the game and I am delighted to be working with them for a better future for the European game.”