Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus brand UEFA’s Super League action ‘intolerable’

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 19 May 2021 15:54 CEST 6 min read
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus brand UEFA’s Super League action ‘intolerable’

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have released a joint statement condemning UEFA’s action against a proposed European Super League as “intolerable”.

In April, 12 teams agreed to form a breakaway competition from UEFA only for it to rapidly collapse amid the withdrawal of the six Premier League clubs – Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal – and then, subsequently, Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid.

READ MORE: Perez in ominous bankruptcy warning as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus toil after Super League failure

Barca, Madrid and Juve have been left clinging onto the Super League idea while UEFA has announced its intention to welcome the other nine clubs back to the fold without long-standing repercussions.

Indeed, a UEFA statement indicated that this has been done “in a spirit of reconciliation”.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, though, could be excluded from European competition next season if they do not back down.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus brand UEFA’s Super League action ‘intolerable’

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus brand UEFA’s Super League action ‘intolerable’

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus’ Super League statement

As such, they released a statement on Saturday complaining that they are being bullied by UEFA.

It can be read in full below, but in summary, it complains that UEFA is taking illegal action to prevent the competition taking place, denies that the structure of the competition is anti-competitive and claims that it is good for the entire European footballing family.

READ MORE: What is the European Super League? Format, teams, earnings, reactions and everything you need to know

It goes on to claim that the Super League will enhance football’s worldwide appeal and claims football is in “crisis” and aims further barbs at UEFA for the “threats” the clubs have been targeted with.

The statement in full

“In response to the statement released by UEFA on the 7th May in respect of the Super League and the position taken by 9 of its founding clubs, Fútbol Club Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid Club de Fútbol make the following statement:

(i) The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue. This is intolerable under the rule of law and Tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus brand UEFA’s Super League action ‘intolerable’

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus brand UEFA’s Super League action ‘intolerable’

(ii) The Super League project was designed jointly by its 12 founding clubs:

  • (a) with the aim of providing solutions to the current unsustainable situation in the football industry. The 12 founding clubs shared the same concerns — as do other stakeholders in European football -, particularly under the current socio-economic context, that structural reforms are vital to ensure our sport remains appealing and survives in the long-term. To that effect, on April 18th, they announced their intention to create the Super League and establish a channel of communication with UEFA and FIFA, in the constructive spirit of collaboration between the parties, as it was so notified to each of them on such date;
  • (b) with the utmost respect for the current football structures and ecosystem. The founding clubs expressly agreed that the Super League would only take place if such a competition was recognised by UEFA and/or FIFA or if, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, it was deemed to be a competition duly compatible for all purposes with the continuity of the founding clubs in their respective domestic competitions. However, despite being aware of the above terms, UEFA and FIFA have so far refused to establish any adequate channel of communication;
  • (c) and to bring financial stability to the entire European football family, currently under the effects of a deep crisis that threatens the survival of many clubs. Testament to that was the announced commitment to establish annual solidarity payments of guaranteed amounts that multiply those distributed by UEFA in real terms, and the obligation to reinforce financial sustainability rules, through the creation of a clear, transparent and effective control system verified by experts.

(iii) The 12 founding clubs also acknowledged that the Super League was a unique opportunity to offer fans around the world the best possible show and to reinforce global interest in the sport, which is not a “given” and is challenged by new generational trends. Moreover, one of its main objectives was to promote women’s football on a global level, a tremendous, but currently undervalued, opportunity for the sector.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus brand UEFA’s Super League action ‘intolerable’

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus brand UEFA’s Super League action ‘intolerable’

“(iv) We are fully aware of the diversity of reactions to the Super League initiative and, consequently, of the need to reflect on the reasons for some of them. We are ready to reconsider the proposed approach, as necessary. However, 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.

(v) We regret to see that our friends and founding partners of the Super League project have now found themselves in such an inconsistent and contradictory position when signing a number of commitments to UEFA yesterday. However, given that the material issues that led the 12 founding clubs to announce the Super League weeks ago have not gone away, we reiterate that, 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.

(vi) 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.”