Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have not given up on the prospect of a separate European Super League (ESL), with a report claiming that the three soccer giants are ready to make another attempt to get their plans accepted.
The Telegraphclaims the league’s top three defenders will “sound out” clubs across Europe with a potential new format for their competition, which will no longer include permanent members.
The league folded just 48 hours after it was first announced in April last year following significant backlash, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan all pulling out after initial interest.
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Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, although they resisted in the hope of forcing the ESL and The Telegraph reports that they will make their new intentions clear in the coming weeks.
That started with Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez’s comments at the club’s annual general meeting, in which he claimed that European football is “sick” and floated ESL as a solution.
“Our beloved sport is sick, especially in Europe and, of course, in Spain,” Pérez said last week.
“Football is losing its position as the world’s leading global sport. The most worrying fact is that young people are less and less interested in football. The current competitions, as they are designed today, do not attract the interest of the spectators, except in the final stages.
“The Super League remains in the midst of European court proceedings challenging UEFA’s monopoly on European football.”
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has also recently boosted the teams that organize Europe’s premium club competition, as opposed to UEFA.
In an open letter to the club’s shareholders, Agnelli wrote: “The overall goal is to put the fans and footballers, the souls of the most beautiful sport in the world, back at the center of this industry, whose beating heart is in the Union. European. This will be achieved by ensuring that investors, represented by the clubs, are legitimately represented in government and thus establishing the correct link between business risk and economic management control.”
December 15 is the key date to watch, as the European Court of Justice will issue a non-binding opinion on the legality of ESL on that date.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin recently accused the three remaining European rebel clubs of being “ego” driven and claimed they are all “afraid of being kicked out” of the Champions League.
Ceferin will aim for a third term as UEFA president next year, the Slovenian told European soccer member associations on Saturday ahead of the Euro 2024 draw in Frankfurt.
During his period in charge, Ceferin has resisted pressure from his FIFA counterpart Gianni Infantino, a former UEFA number two, for a biennial World Cup instead of his traditional four-year slot.
But Ceferin’s biggest challenge was the emergence of movements to create an ESL.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus continue to campaign for the Super League with a dispute over an alleged abuse of a dominant position by UEFA that will be resolved in early 2023 by the Court of Justice of the European Union.
In response, UEFA launched a major overhaul of the Champions League for 2024, with 36 teams instead of 32, and an eight-day mini-league instead of the traditional group stage.
The television rights have already been awarded for the record sum of 15,000 million euros over three years (2024-2027).