Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus – the three remaining rebel clubs from the failed European Super League project – have released a new joint statement, hitting back after Uefa launched disciplinary proceedings against them.
The three sides claim the European governing body’s actions, which could lead to their expulsion from the Champions League, are “incomprehensible” and risk causing football’s “inevitable downfall”. All three insist they are still committed to the controversial breakaway Super League.
The project collapsed within 48 hours of its launch last month as the other nine teams involved, including six from the Premier League – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – withdrew following a huge backlash from across the sporting and political spectrum.
Those nine clubs have since accepted financial sanctions from Uefa and restated their commitment to the governing body and its competitions. Uefa announced on Tuesday that Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus could all face charges for violating their legal framework. The maximum sanction available to them would be to exclude the clubs from the Champions League and other European competitions.
The rebel clubs say Uefa should not have taken such action while the matter is still subject to legal proceedings, which they initiated to try to prevent the Super League being stopped. The three club took the matter to a commercial court in Madrid, which has referred it to the European court of justice.
A statement issued by the clubs read: “FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and Real Madrid CF wish to express their absolute rejection of the insistent coercion that Uefa has been maintaining towards three of the most relevant institutions in the history of football.
“This alarming attitude constitutes a flagrant breach of the decision of the courts of justice, which have already made a clear statement warning Uefa to refrain from taking any action that could penalise the founding clubs of the Super League while the legal proceedings are ongoing.
“Therefore, the opening of disciplinary proceedings by Uefa is incomprehensible and is a direct attack against the rule of law that we, the citizens of the EU, have democratically built up, while constituting a lack of respect toward the authority of the courts of justice themselves.”
The clubs are holding firm in their view that the Super League is in the best interests of the game and want further discussions. “From the beginning, the Super League has been promoted with the aim of improving the situation of European football, through permanent dialogue with Uefa and with the objective to increase the interest in the sport and to offer fans the best possible show,” the statement added.
“Instead of exploring ways of modernising football through open dialogue, Uefa expects us to withdraw the ongoing court proceedings that question their monopoly over European football. Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, all of them more than a century old, will not accept any form of coercion or intolerable pressure.
The three clubs concluded that they “remain strong in their willingness to debate, respectfully and through dialogue, the urgent solutions that football currently needs. Either we reform football or we will have to watch its inevitable downfall.”