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Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus insist on Super League

The clubs say they “are ready to reconsider the proposed approach”, but reiterated that administration elite football in Europe must be restructured.

• May 8, 2021
President of Barcelona Joan Laporta, Chairman of Juventus Andrea Agnelli, and President of Real Madrid Florentino Pérez
President of Barcelona Joan Laporta, Chairman of Juventus Andrea Agnelli, and President of Real Madrid Florentino Pérez

Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid football clubs have insisted they would continue with their plans on Super League in response to the statement released by UEFA on May 7.

The three clubs are the only clubs from the initial 12 yet to withdraw from the proposed European Super League after other clubs withdrew following intense pressure home football governing authorities FIFA, UEFA and even their home governments

The trio expressed in a statement that they have continued to suffer in the face of what they call “threats” from UEFA.

“The founding clubs have suffered and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures [and] threats… to abandon the project”, which they feel is an effort to have them “desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue”, the statement said.

The European Super League was announced on April 18 but the plans crumbled within 48 hours with the English clubs withdrawing after protests and pressure from the UK government.

The nine clubs that pulled out are Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid, who said they would do anything to end their involvement in the breakaway league.

Barca, Juve and Real say they “are ready to reconsider the proposed approach”, but reiterated their stance that the structure of elite football in Europe, its appeal to younger generations and the financial pressures facing the clubs, need to be addressed.

“We would be highly irresponsible if, being aware of the needs and systemic crisis in the football sector, which led us to announce the Super League, we abandoned such mission to provide effective and sustainable answers to the existential questions that threaten the football industry,” they said.

“The material issues that led the 12 founding clubs to announce the Super League weeks ago have not gone away.

“To honour our history, to comply with our obligations towards our stakeholders and fans, for the good of football and for the financial sustainability of the sector, we have the duty to act in a responsible manner and persevere in the pursuit of adequate solutions, despite the unacceptable and ongoing pressures and threats received from UEFA.”

The clubs said they “regret to see” the other nine clubs “now found themselves in such inconsistent and contradictory position when signing a number of commitments to UEFA”.

The trio concluded: “Furthermore, we reiterate to FIFA, UEFA and all football stakeholders, as we have done on several occasions since the announcement of the Super League, our commitment and determination to discuss, with respect and without intolerable pressure and in accordance with the rule of law, the most appropriate solutions for the sustainability of the whole football family”

The nine clubs who withdrew have agreed to make a combined €15m (£13.4m) goodwill contribution to benefit children’s and grassroots football across Europe.

They will also have five per cent of their UEFA competition revenues withheld for one season, starting in 2023-24. This money will be redistributed, including in the UK.

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