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European Super League, Leeds United t-shirts, protests outside Elland Road, Leeds vs Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp

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Fans and players made their voices heard prior to the Leeds and Liverpool clash at Elland Road, protesting against plans for a Super League announced by 12 of European football’s most powerful clubs.

Six Premier League teams — Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur — joined forces with Spanish giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid as well as Italian trio Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan to launch the competition.

They plan to leave from the UEFA-sanctioned Champions League and start their new tournament “as soon as possible”, with plans for three more founding members to join and for five other clubs to be invited annually.

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The competition threatens to completely upturn the world’s biggest sport and leaves the prestigious Champions League — itself the fruit of the last major shake-up in European football in 1992 — facing an uncertain future.

Leeds players warmed up in T-shirts pre-match which said: ‘Champions League: Earn It’ along with ‘Football is for the fans’.

It prompted an angry reaction from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who defiantly said his players “will not wear it.”

“If somebody thinks we need to be reminded we need to earn the right to play in the Champions League, that is a joke,” he added.

A sign reading ‘#SAYNOTOTHESUPERLEAGUE’ also flew over the stadium.

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Leeds United’s English midfielder Ian Poveda wears a T-shirt with a slogan against a proposed new European Super League. (Photo by Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP)Source: AFP
Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United warms up while wearing a protest t-shirt reading “Champions League, Earn it.”. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
A sign is trailed by a plane with a slogan. (Photo by Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP) /Source: AFP

The reaction from fans and pundits across Europe has been furious. “It’s the death of football… Football is based on the concept of competitive balance, sporting competition and qualifying on merit,” Tim Payton, head of the Arsenal Supporters Trust, told AFP.

Supporters from both Leeds and Liverpool protested outside Elland Road ahead of Monday’s Premier League match.

Fans hold up a protest banner. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
A picture shows a placard with a message against plans for a Super League. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)Source: AFP
Fans gather outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Leeds United and Liverpool. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
A Leeds United fan holds up a sign reading “RIP Football 1863-2021”. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Fans hold up a banner in protest. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

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Four Barcelona stars 'no longer untouchable' ahead of transfer window

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A number of Barcelona stars could be on their way out this summer.

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Roy Hodgson resigns as Crystal Palace manager

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Roy Hodgson is to step down as Crystal Palace manager at the end of the season, the club announced on Tuesday.

The 73-year-old will bring the curtain down on his four-year spell at his boyhood club against one of his former sides, Liverpool, on Sunday.

The former England manager’s contract was due to expire in the close season after another campaign in which he maintained Palace’s Premier League status.

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“After more than 45 years of coaching, I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football,” Hodgson said in a statement.

“So our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace.

“It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace.”

Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has been mentioned in the media as a potential replacement for Hodgson at Palace.

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Palace fans will recall Hodgson’s first season in charge with particular affection.

He was appointed early in the 2017-18 campaign, Palace were pointless and had failed to score during their opening four league games after a disastrous start to life under Frank De Boer.

The former Inter Milan and Switzerland manager looked to have an insurmountable task when the Eagles lost their first three games under him.

However, he engineered an astonishing revival which saw them preserve their elite status, eventually finishing 11th in the table.

It was the first time in Premier League history a team had stayed up in the top flight after losing their first seven games (itself a Premier League record).

– ‘Give us stability’ –

They are presently enjoying their longest consecutive spell in the top flight — they have been in the EPL since the 2013/14 season.

“It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work alongside Roy, who is both a magnificent human and an outstanding football manager,” said Palace chairman Steve Parrish.

“I know how much it has meant to Roy managing the club he supported as a child.

“His record with us simply cannot be overstated, he is the only Palace manager to secure four years in the Premier League and he has helped give us stability in the most turbulent of times.”

Hodgson is a much respected coach despite low points with Liverpool and ultimately England.

He resigned after England lost to minnows Iceland in the Last 16 clash at Euro 2016 — following a first round exit at the 2014 World Cup.

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However, he has worked wonders with mid-level teams.

He built his reputation firstly with Malmo in Sweden and then taking Switzerland to the 1994 World Cup and Euro 96.

After a rebuilding job with Inter Milan and further league title glory with Copenhagen, Fulham offered Hodgson the chance to boost his reputation in England in 2007 and he enjoyed a memorable three years there taking them to the 2010 Europa League final.

Another successful survival battle at West Brom secured him the England job when Fabio Capello walked out prior to Euro 2012.

The England job was expected to be his last but the temptation to manage a club so close to his heart proved too much.

He departs Palace with the record of being the oldest person to ever manage in the Premier League.

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Man Utd's Jadon Sancho transfer hopes a step ahead of Harry Kane deal

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Manchester United are set for a huge summer transfer window.

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