Association sport

European Club Association insists Super League will not be resurrected

According to European Club Association President Nasser Al Khelaifi, there is no potential for the European Super League to be revived.

The breakaway competition collapsed within 72 hours of its official inception last April amid outrage from fans and opposition from football authorities, but its supporters in Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Juventus remain convinced that the project is not a failure and that the European game desperately needs it. of reform.

Al Khelaifi, the Paris St Germain president who rejected invitations to join the league last year, says the prospect of a 40% increase in club revenue in the next Champions League cycle from 2024 proves that the plotters were “wrong from every angle”. .

He told the ECA general meeting in Vienna on Tuesday: “As far as the non-Super League is concerned, it doesn’t exist. Not the first (version), not the second.

“Everyone is against it, fans, media, clubs, big and small clubs. They are just three (clubs).”

The ECA and UEFA, European football’s governing body, have set up a joint venture to sell the commercial rights to club competitions from 2024, in what Al Khelaifi previously described as a “tectonic shift” in the game. dynamic between clubs and the confederation, giving clubs greater control. on their fate.

Al Khelaifi added: “The strange thing is that they (Barcelona, ​​Real and Juventus) like to play in the UEFA competition now. They like to play in the top competition.

“I don’t think they can potentially do something like that (resurrect the Super League) because we are united here.

“Here at ECA, we have found our unity in 2021 – how we will be together, working as one family and taking care of each other. I think that is the main goal and we have done that.

“Now we are looking at the potential and what we can in 2022, one of them is the increased value of the UEFA competition, proving them wrong from every angle and that we are going to become bigger and bigger.”

La Liga president Javier Tebas claimed at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit earlier this month that the presidents of Barca, Real and Juve had met in Turin to discuss a new Super League.

He said they were trying to design a model that didn’t include English clubs.

At the same conference, Juve president and former ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli declined to confirm whether talks were underway on a new league, but added: “Last year was the first time not one, not two, not three, but 12 clubs made a statement, which was a profound cry of alarm for the system, that we must do something to create a sustainable industry.

The Super League trio challenge UEFA in the European Court of Justice.

They claim UEFA’s decision to block the Super League and sanction the clubs involved was an abuse of dominance and a breach of EU competition law.

Agnelli said: “I have great confidence in the judges of the European Court of Justice, who are the true guardians of the European Union and of European values.

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