European Super League: Boris Johnson needs to explain whether he backed competition, Labour says

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.

Boris Johnson needs to explain whether he signalled his backing for the ill-fated European Super League, Labour has said.

The plan by the so-called ‘big six’ Premier League clubs - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - for a breakaway competition dramatically unravelled within 48 hours.

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Fans and government ministers, including the Prime Minister, vehemently condemned the proposal.

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 (Getty Images and Shutterstock)

PM ‘may have given impression he backed proposal’

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.

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.

What Labour has said

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.”

What No 10 has said

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.”