• Monday, February 26, 2024
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What next for UEFA, clubs after European court ruling on ESL?

UEFA (1)

The European Court of Justice on the European Super League (ESL) has sparked mass protests from UEFA, clubs, as well as government institutions.

On Thursday, the European Court of Justice ruled that UEFA and FIFA acted against competition law by blocking the formation of the European Super League in 2021.

The announcement is a big shock to many top-flight clubs in Europe, noting that the European Super League will kill football.

Twelve clubs comprising six Premier League clubs; Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, LaLiga’s Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid and Serie A’s AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus signed up as members of the European Super League for its launch on April 2021, in a move that stunned the football world.

But after heavy public backlash, the six Premier League teams backed out of the project before others followed suit.

Following the ruling, the top clubs from the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A have issued statements condemning the decision to kick start the European Soccer League.

UEFA statement

“Football remains united. This press conference involving all stakeholders speaking together is evidence of that. We have national governments and institutions behind us,” UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, UEFA executive statement

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, former chairman of Bayern Munich and currently on the UEFA Executive Committee, expressed his disappointment and frustration with the entire idea of the European Super League.

“Serie A would become Serie B and the Bundesliga the second division,” Rummenigge said.

“Poor tournaments. And do you know why they wanted this? To damage the Premier League that collects more simply because it is better.”

Premier League statement

“Today’s ruling does not endorse the Super League and the Premier League continues to reject any such concept,” a statement from EPL reads.

“Supporters are of vital importance to the game and have repeatedly made clear their opposition to a “breakaway” competition that severs the link between domestic and European football.

“The Premier League reiterates its commitment to the clear principles of open competition that underpin the success of domestic and international club competitions.”

La Liga statement

“I would like to express our total support for UEFA as the regulator of European football,” Javier Tebas, LaLiga President, said.

UEFA has been going for 69 years, organising European competitions and football. Over this period, UEFA has had to adapt to the times and to the changing economic and sporting realities. That is what they have been continually doing with the various stakeholders, and last year created new rules on creating a new competition.”

Manchester United statement

Man United was initially one of the six Premier League clubs part of the European Super League before plans were shelved in 2021 due to fan backlash.

And the club were quick to distance any involvement this time around.

“Our position has not changed. We remain fully committed to participation in UEFA competitions, and to positive cooperation with UEFA, the Premier League, and fellow clubs through the European Club Association (ECA) on the continued development of the European game.”

Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two big driving forces behind reviving the ESL, but their Spanish counterparts, Atletico Madrid, have condemned the plans.

Atlético Madrid statement

“The European football family does not want the European Super League”.

“Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain (except for Real Madrid and Barcelona) do not want the Super League.”

Bayern Munich statement

“It’s very clear: the door for the Super League at FC Bayern remains closed.

“Such a competition would represent an attack on the importance of domestic leagues and European football,” club CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said.

AS Roma statement

“The club in no way endorses any so-called Super League project that would present an unacceptable attack on the importance of the national leagues and the foundations of European football,” a club statement reads.

“AS Roma believes that European football’s future well-being can only be secured through clubs working together through ECA in strong partnership and collaboration with UEFA and FIFA.”

According to a statement released by A22 Sports Management, the company behind the potential European Super League relaunch said the new competition will feature 64 men’s and 32 women’s teams playing midweek matches in a league system across Europe.

The 64 men’s league will be divided into three leagues: Star, Gold and Blue. The Star and Gold Leagues will have 16 clubs each, while the Blue League has 32.

Teams will play home and away in groups of eight, which would mean a minimum of 14 matches a year. There will be annual promotion and relegation between leagues, while teams can qualify for the Blue League based on domestic league performance.

The women’s competition will commence with the Star and Gold Leagues of 16 clubs each.