Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid football clubs have welcomed the decision of a Madrid court affirming their right to participate in the breakaway European Super League which suffered hiatus after most founding clubs pulled out due to pressure from governing authorities.
The court on Friday ruled that European Football Association’s (EUFA) disciplinary actions against the founding 12 teams of the planned breakaway league must be dropped. The matter will now be heard by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
On April 18, twelve clubs announced their intentions to join the Super League as founding members, but the competition would not last beyond seventy-two hours following the withdrawal of nine clubs who withdrew in the face of fan protests, opposition from UEFA, FIFA, and domestic leagues, as well as criticism from the British Government and Royal Family.
UEFA penalised each of the nine clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, and AC Milan – an estimated £7 million punishment and 5% of their prize money.
In a joint statement released by the three clubs who refused to balk, the teams said that it welcomed the courts decision enforcing the removal of sanctions placed on all Europa Super League founding clubs.
“FC Barcelona, Juventus, and Real Madrid CF welcome today’s Court’s decision enforcing, with immediate effect, UEFA’s obligation to unwind the actions taken against all European Super League founding clubs, including terminating the disciplinary proceedings against the undersigning three clubs and removing the penalties and restrictions imposed on the remaining nine founding clubs for them to avoid UEFA’s disciplinary action,” the statement read.
The clubs maintained that the Super League is aimed at breaking UEFA’s monopoly over European football due to the conflict of interest and financial control inadequacy.
“The Court backs the request made by the promoters of the European Super League, dismisses UEFA’s appeal, and confirms its warning to UEFA that failure to comply with its ruling shall result in fines and potential criminal liability. The case will be assessed by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, which shall review UEFA’s monopolistic position over European football.
“We have the duty to address the very serious issues facing football: UEFA has established itself as the sole regulator, exclusive operator, and unique owner of rights of European football competitions. This monopolistic position, in conflict of interest, is damaging football and its competitive balance. As shown by ample evidence, financial controls are inadequate, and they have been improperly enforced. Clubs participating in European competitions have the right to govern their own competitions.
“We are pleased that going forward we will no longer be subject to ongoing UEFA’s threats. Our aim is to keep developing the Super League project in a constructive and cooperative manner, always counting on all football stakeholders: fans, players, coaches, clubs, leagues, and national and international associations. We are aware that there are elements of our proposal that should be reviewed and, of course, can be improved through dialogue and consensus. We remain confident in the success of a project that will be always compliant with European Union laws,” the statement concluded.