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European Super League Plans Back on Track as Juventus Makes Strong Statement

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By Martin Graham | 5th Mar 2022

The founding clubs of the European Super League have returned with new plans for the proposed competition, whose plans were shelved after 72 hours of backlash following the initial unveiling of the plans in April 2021.

Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United, and a few other top clubs across Europe came together in April 2021 to conceive the idea of a Super League which would see no relegations and participation based on financial power and club stature.

Plans were shelved after fans and governing bodies came together to speak out against the perceived injustice against football which the Super League could kindle.

Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid, alongside some other clubs, have reignited the plans for the European Super League and UEFA is once again feeling the pressure from the big clubs who want their own elite competition.

They have come up with a new Super League model, allegedly in the home of Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, per La Liga president Javier Tebas, which they have presented to the European Union. Interest in the competition from sportsbet is sure to be keen.

The new model, said to have incorporated the concerns of fans and teams as well as key figures in football, will now have promotions and relegations. The new models will have two leagues: one for the elite clubs and the other for the smaller clubs.

There will be relegations and promotions between the two leagues and it will not affect the usual UEFA and FIFA competitions.

The letter to the European Union with the new plans for the Super League proposes that the European Union will have more control over football. It is a proposal which the Union is more likely to accept as they have long sought a way back into active participation in the sport.

‘European Super League was not a failure’ — Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli

Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli insists that the plans for the Super League in April 2021 was a statement and not a failure despite the harsh criticisms it got.

Agnelli, speaking at the FT Business of Football summit in London on Thursday, said of the European Super League: “To me it is not a failure. We have been hearing projects of potential breakaway leagues ever since I was a teenager.

“Last year was the first time that not one, not two, not three, but 12 clubs made a very important statement that was a profound alarm to the system.”

UEFA responded by threatening sanctions on the clubs which saw most of the original 12 full out of the partnership. However, Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona have continued to push for the Super League and have challenged UEFA’s position in the European Court of Justice.

They called UEFA’s decision ‘an abuse of dominant position and a breach of European competition law’. Agnelli also commented on the ongoing lawsuit: “I place a lot of trust in the judges of the European Court of Justice, who are the true keepers of the European Union and European values.

“Any promoter should be allowed, in a free environment, to promote a product and then if people are qualified, invited, they can freely decide (to join) without being told no by a monopolistic operator, and the only gatekeeper for the industry.”

UEFA continues to oppose the Super League plans

UEFA’s worry is the threat which the proposed Super League poses to the Champions League.

Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA president, commented on the issues at the Football Business Summit organised by The Financial Times.

“Speaking about Super League is not speaking about football, I’m sick and tired of talking about this non-football project,” he said.

“First, they launched their nonsense of an idea in the middle of the pandemic, now we’re reading articles every day that they are planning to launch another idea now in the middle of a war.

“Do I have to speak more about these people? They honestly live in a parallel world. It’s a complete nonsense and everybody except them knows it.”

Ceferin went on to make clear to the three clubs of the consequences of reviving the Super League.

“They can play their own competition, nobody forbids them,” he said.

“But if they play their own competition, they can’t play in our competition.”

Domestic leagues are also against the Super League proposition. Championing the opposition on the domestic league side is LaLiga’s Javier Tebas who joined his voice with Ceferin in criticising the project.

“He [Agnelli] will have to explain it, if he doesn’t explain it then he will be lying,” Tebas explained.

“A week ago, I think it was in his house, there was a meeting of the three teams [Juventus, Madrid and Barcelona]. Now they are saying they don’t want fixed slots. Real Madrid are saying they don’t want the first slot, it’s false.

“Every time I read about it, I get cross, I think they lie more than Vladimir Putin to be honest.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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