The plan by the so-called Big Six Premier League clubs for a breakaway competition dramatically unravelled within just 48 hours after it was vehemently condemned by fans and Government ministers – including Mr Johnson – alike.
However, The Sunday Times reported that just four days before its launch, the Prime Minister may have given Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward the impression he would back the proposal.
Sources claim that Ed Woodward, the chief executive of Manchester United, was invited to No 10 ten days ago and given the impression that Boris Johnson supported the controversial new European Super League https://t.co/at6N5dvZ2C— The Sunday Times (@thesundaytimes) April 25, 2021
The paper said Mr Woodward had been in Downing Street on April 14 for a meeting with Mr Johnson’s chief of staff Dan Rosenfield.
It said that while No 10 denied the meeting was to discuss the Super League, it quoted sources as saying Mr Woodward may have briefly met Mr Johnson while he was there and left with the wrong impression the Prime Minister supported the scheme.
In response to the claims Andy Burnham Tweeted: “So Government was complicit in the European Super League but jumped ship before the clubs? Can’t say I’m shocked. We need to keep the pressure on for a major Football Reform Bill in the next Queen’s Speech.”
So Government was complicit in the European Super League but jumped ship before the clubs?— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) April 25, 2021
Can’t say I’m shocked.
We need to keep the pressure on for a major Football Reform Bill in the next Queen’s Speech. https://t.co/lXQuSeGo4U
Shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said Mr Johnson needed to explain exactly what had transpired during Mr Woodward’s visit.
“Yet again Boris Johnson’s integrity and honesty are in question,” she said.
“The public has a right to know what exactly was promised to Manchester United by both officials and the Prime Minister.
“If Boris Johnson gave the European Super League his backing and then publicly turned on the plan then the British people deserve a full, clear and immediate explanation and apology.”
In response, a No 10 spokeswoman said: “Ed Woodward had a meeting in Downing Street last week with officials.
“The meeting was to discuss the safe return of fans and Covid certification, as part of ongoing work on events pilots.
“The Super League was not discussed and the PM was not in the meeting.”