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European clubs and leagues reject Super League after EU Court verdict

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Major clubs and leagues across Europe rejected the Super League in favour of the status quo following Thursday’s EU court verdict which said UEFA and FIFA contravened EU law by preventing the formation of a Super League.

Manchester United were one of the first to say they remain committed to playing in competitions run by Europe’s soccer governing body UEFA, as did German champions Bayern Munich.

United were one of the 12 clubs involved in the formation of the breakaway Super League in April 2021 but pulled out due to pressure from fans, governments and players.

“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 ECA on the continued development of the European game,” the club said.

Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were the other five Premier League clubs involved before pulling out.

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Two months after the six English clubs pulled out of the project in 2021, they said they would offer a combined 22 million pounds ($27.78 million) as “a gesture of goodwill” to go towards the good of the game, including new investment to support fans, grassroots football and community programmes

The Premier League said they would face a 30-point deduction if they attempt a similar move in future and each would be fined 25 million pounds for any such breakaway attempt.

“The ruling does not endorse the so-called “European Super League” and the Premier League continues to reject any such concept,” the Premier League said in a statement.

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

DOOR CLOSED

Bayern Munich said they were committed to UEFA competitions, saying the door for the Super League “remains closed” for the German champions.

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“The Bundesliga is the foundation of FC Bayern, just as all national leagues are the foundation of other European football clubs,” Bayern CEO Jan Christian Dreesen said.

“It is therefore our duty and our deep conviction to strengthen them, not to weaken them. We are also committed to the European club competitions under the umbrella of UEFA.”

The German Football League (DFL), which is in charge of the Bundesliga, said it “explicitly supports the European sports model and rejects competitions outside those competitions organised by the federations and the leagues”.

The European Club Association (ECA), which represents nearly 500 clubs across the continent, said the football world had “moved on from the Super League years ago”.

“Through ECA, clubs today are already at the heart of decision-making in relation to the competitions they participate in,” the ECA said.

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“Most importantly, football is a social contract not a legal contract.

“All the recognised stakeholders… spanning confederations, federations, clubs, leagues, players and fans stand more united than ever against the attempts by a few individuals pursuing personal agendas to undermine the very foundations and basic principles of European football.”

France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said it “unequivocally supports” competitions organised by UEFA.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) reiterated its intention to protect the national championships, “for the defence of the broader and more general principle of sporting merit and the respect of international calendars”.

“The FIGC believes that the Super League is not a project compatible with these conditions and will always act in pursuing the general interests of Italian football,” it added.

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-Reuters

 

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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