September 20, 2021


Football and other sports news

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus stand firm on ESL despite UEFA warning

3 min read

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have hit back at UEFA after the governing body announced that the three remaining founders involved in the European Super League would face “appropriate action” for their part in the plans.

The European giants were three of 12 clubs – including the Premier League’s ‘big six’ – who announced themselves as founder members of the breakaway league on April 18, but within 72 hours it had fallen apart, with the English clubs withdrawing after fan protests and Government pressure.

Inter Milan, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid also withdrew and on Friday the nine clubs that renounced the Super League declared their commitment to UEFA and its competitions at continental and domestic level.

Real, Barca and Juve, however, were issued with a warning by UEFA, with the statement announcing the agreement with the other nine clubs concluding: “UEFA has reserved all rights to take whatever action it deems appropriate against those clubs that have so far refused to renounce the so-called ‘Super League’.

“The matter will promptly be referred to the competent UEFA disciplinary bodies.”

The three remaining clubs have now questioned UEFA’s actions, after they announced in the wake of the Super League collapse that “we are convinced our proposal is fully aligned with European law and regulations as was demonstrated today by a court decision to protect the Super League from third party actions”.

A statement from the three clubs read: “The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue.

“This is intolerable under the rule of law and Tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending.”

The statement also defended the Super League plans and while the trio said they were willing to “reconsider the proposed approach, as necessary”, they reiterated their desire for major reforms to the game.

The statement continued: “We are fully aware of the diversity of reactions to the Super League initiative and, consequently, of the need to reflect on the reasons for some of them. We are ready to reconsider the proposed approach, as necessary.

“However, we would be highly irresponsible if, being aware of the needs and systemic crisis in the football sector, which led us to announce the Super League, we abandoned such mission to provide effective and sustainable answers to the existential questions that threaten the football industry.

“We regret to see that our friends and founding partners of the Super League project have now found themselves in such inconsistent and contradictory position when signing a number of commitments to UEFA yesterday.

“However, given that the material issues that led the 12 founding clubs to announce the Super League weeks ago have not gone away, we reiterate that, to honour our history, to comply with our obligations towards our stakeholders and fans, for the good of football and for the financial sustainability of the sector, we have the duty to act in a responsible manner and persevere in the pursuit of adequate solutions, despite the unacceptable and ongoing pressures and threats received from UEFA.

“Mostly, we reiterate to FIFA, UEFA and all football stakeholders, as we have done on several occasions since the announcement of the Super League, our commitment and firm will to discuss, with respect and without intolerable pressure and in accordance with the rule of law, the most appropriate solutions for the sustainability of the whole football family.”

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