The CEO of the European Super League accuses UEFA of intimidating clubs into rejecting the breakaway project. Top Premier League Clubs vouch for UEFA
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European Super League Resistance continues: The European Super League finds itself in hot water yet again as the CEO of its project, Bernd Reichart claims that UEFA is allegedly threatening clubs into rejecting the proposed breakaway tournament. The inaugural project found itself showered with criticism from all sides due to its ‘aristocratic’ scheme, where less privileged clubs weren’t allowed to compete. However, that format has been revised and A22 unveiled a new plan that looks rather tempting and one would have to scour for harder reasons to reject it this time. The European Court of Justice has backed the ESL’s right to its formation and have ruled that UEFA and FIFA acted against competition law when they blocked its creation in 2021. Let us take a look at some of the updates.
The Revised Project
In contrast to the initial plan, this one has over 64 teams divided into 3 divisions – Star, Gold, and Blue. The three divisions will work on a mechanism based on promotions and relegations. Each team will be playing 14 games with 7 at home and 7 in hostile territory (away). Like other big-name competitions, it will also consist of group stages and play-offs. The CEO of ESL, Bernd Reichart gave some even more tempting concessions for fans and clubs alike as he says:
“For fans — we propose free viewing of all Super League matches. For clubs — we propose revenues and solidarity will be guaranteed”
Still not sat well with the new plan, some fans pondered over the possibility of clubs from the Saudi League taking part, to which Reichart responded:
“Saudi Arabian clubs in the Super League? There will be no non-European clubs in the Super League. Only European clubs.”
Clubs In Support of the Super League
Barcelona and Real Madrid have been vociferous in their support for the Super League from the get-go. It seems nothing has changed in the span of two and a half years. In an official statement, Florentino Perez, Real Madrid’s President had the following to say:
“Faced with the pressures we have received for more than two years, law, reason and freedom are imposed today. And for this reason, Real Madrid will continue to work for the sake of football.”
“In short, today the Europe of freedom has triumphed again and today soccer and its fans have also triumphed.”
Having similar sentiments apropos to the project, FC Barcelona’s President, Joan Laporta also added:
“FC Barcelona wishes to express its satisfaction with the sentence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) assessing the Super League project as proposed by A22 Sports. As one of the clubs driving the Super League project, FC Barcelona feels that the sentence paves the way for a new elite level football competition in Europe by opposing the monopoly over the football world, and wishes to initiate new discussions as to the path that European competitions should take in the future.”
European Super League Resistance continues: Accusations hurled at UEFA
Rejoicing at the CJEU’s verdict, Reichart claimed that ‘Football is finally free.’ He would go on to make a bolder claim, saying that UEFA has been running a ‘dictatorship’ for over 70 years and bullied clubs for any hint of resistance shown. Those teams and institutions who’ve shown support for the European Super League have been threatened with sanctions according to Bernd Reichart, who says:
“Clubs have been under a monopoly for 70 years, an iron fist dictatorship, we have to change the chip, it is normal that some take longer and others less, but it is a great opportunity for clubs to manage their future.”
“This latest Super League proposal has come to light with the contribution of many clubs, we have spoken with many clubs in recent months. But these clubs are afraid to appear publicly because of the threats. Many clubs support the project.”
Aleksander Ceferin, the CEO of UEFA has not budged an inch from his original standing with respect to the Super League. He says with a pinch of sarcasm:
“I hope they start their fantastic competition as soon as possible, with two clubs.”
A public statement was also put out by UEFA to further elucidate its stance following the ruling of CJEU. It says:
“UEFA remains resolute in its commitment to uphold the European football pyramid, ensuring that it continues to serve the broader interests of society. We will continue to shape the European sports model collectively with national associations, leagues, clubs, fans, players, coaches, EU institutions, governments and partners alike.”
Which Clubs Are Backing UEFA?
As it stands, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, PSG, and Sevilla are among the European heavyweights who’ve rejected the new plan proposed by the Super League. They’re joined by England’s powerhouse Manchester United along with other Premier League clubs.
It must be noted that Manchester United was in favor of the Super League’s formation along with City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Spurs. However, they backed out as soon as the new ruling was issued, followed by other clubs. Serie A giants Juventus have been tipped to be in favor of the European Super League but are said to be silent to avoid a potential punch-up.
Having secured their rights to continue their project without the fear of being subjugated, the Super League seems to be a very real possibility now. The fans, pundits and experts are all divided on the issue and with just a handful of clubs standing by it, we might have to sit tight for a little longer actually to see it materialize. That said, how do you view the revised Super League plan?