Chelsea and Manchester City are preparing to withdraw from the controversial Super League less than 48 hours after they agreed to help found the league, according to multiplereportsTuesday.

The decisions come after two days of widespread criticism of a plan hatched by 12 top clubs to break away from the existing structure of European soccer and form their own exclusive league as early as 2022.

They also came an hour before Chelsea kicks off a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, the club's London home. Chelsea fans protesting the Super League blocked the team's bus route to the stadium. Petr Cech, a club legend, had to plead with fans to let the bus through.

Petr Cech:

“Let me sort this out. Let the bus go in. Give people time.”

[via @phillipjames4]

— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 20, 2021

Chelsea's decision, the first domino to fall, dealt a major blow to the Super League, and could lead to its collapse. Minutes later, reports suggested Manchester City would also pull out.

Both clubs are set to play in this season's Champions League semifinals next week, and UEFA, the European soccer governing body that opposes the Super League plan, had threatened to kick both Chelsea and Man City out of the semifinals.

The 12 clubs – Chelsea, City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan – announced their plan on Sunday night, and said they "anticipated" that three others would join them as founding members.

But those three others – Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and PSG – rebuffed the league, weakening the so-called founders' leverage.

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