The proposed European Super League collapsed in dramatic fashion on Tuesday as the six Premier League clubs withdrew from the deeply divisive project following a furious backlash by fans and threats from football authorities.

The six teams, all from the English Premier League, formally ended their involvement in quick succession over the course of a few hours after Chelsea and Manchester City revealed they had initiated a withdrawal. Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward, one of the plan’s chief architects, also announced that he would step down at the end of the year.

The moves marked a stunning U-turn, less than 48 hours after the $4 billion Super League plan was disclosed and touched off a bitter war between the game’s most prestigious teams and European soccer authorities, along with a ferocious backlash from players and supporters.

Manchester City confirmed they have “formally enacted the procedures to withdraw” from the Super League.

Liverpool said their involvement in the proposed breakaway league “has been discontinued”.

Manchester United said they had “listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders” in making their decision to not take part.

Arsenal apologised in an open letter to their fans and said they had “made a mistake”, adding they were withdrawing after listening to them and the “wider football community”.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said the club regretted the “anxiety and upset” caused by the proposal.

Chelsea confirmed they have “begun the formal procedures for withdrawal from the group” that they only joined “late last week”.

The negative reactions of people, especially the fans, has made the brains behind the European Super League come out to say it would reconsider “the most appropriate steps to reshape the project”.

Even players and executives from teams that intended to join the Super League had begun expressing their distaste for the project. “I don’t like it and I don’t want it to happen,” the entire Liverpool squad posted on Instagram.

No comment has been made from the remaining six clubs, Spain’s Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid and Italy’s AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. Reports says that two Italian clubs are on the brink of pulling out as well.