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Nicky Butt says club owners who signed up to European Super League are guilty of 'the worst case of bullying' after Man United were among Premier League 'big six' forced to withdraw after fan fury

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Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-04-21

Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt has slammed those involved in trying to set up the breakaway European Super League, saying they are guilty of the 'worst case of bullying.'

Butt, who stepped down from his role as United's head of first team development last month, believes an apology from the ringleaders isn't going to cut it with fans.

The Super League appears to be dead in the water after the Premier League's 'Big Six' of United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham withdrew on Tuesday night.

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Nicky Butt has hit out at the club owners involved in the breakaway European Super League, accusing them of the 'worst case of bullying' 
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Butt, wearing a Manchester United tracksuit top, appeared to toast the demise of the European Super League with a glass of red wine in an Instagram post on Tuesday night
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It came after a similar social media post by his Class of '92 team-mate Gary Neville

They were followed by Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan on Wednesday, leaving just Barcelona and Real Madrid from the 12 'founders' of the competition.

It followed a storm of protest from supporters of the six English clubs, with United fans criticising the club's owners, the Glazer family, and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward for playing a prominent role in the project.

Woodward will be stepping down from his position at the end of the year with the announcement brought forward following the Super League debacle.

And Butt didn't hold back in his criticism of those in charge at Old Trafford.

'I don't think an apology is too great anyway if I'm honest,' he told Sky Sports. 'I think what happened should never have happened.

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United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward (left) pictured with owners Avram Glazer and Joel Glazer at their Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona in 2019
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Woodward helped the Glazers purchase the club, and the Americans were a driving force behind the European Super League alongside Liverpool and Arsenal's owners

'What happened is the worst case of bullying in my opinion, from powerful people, so whether they apologise or not is irrelevant to me really.'

Asked how long it would take for the club owners involved to regain the trust of the fans, Butt said: 'A hell of a long time and I don't see how it's possible. It's difficult to regain someone's trust after going behind people's backs for so long.

'It's going to be difficult, I don't know how they do it.

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Manchester United fans were among those who protested against the Super League this week

'I think that's how some of these businessmen work. They work in the shadows if you like and they do what they think is right but I think the shocking thing is they can't have empathy for the fans who make this sport so great.

'Without the fans, the sport is nothing, and to not be on board with what the fans want, that's the alarming thing for me.

'So it's a lesson to people who come into the country and come into powerful football clubs and think they can do whatever they want because they are owners and they are very, very wealthy.'

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