The man in charge of European football’s main governing body can’t understand why the three clubs are still pushing for a breakaway
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have “crippled” themselves with their “strange” approach to the Super League, according to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
A controversial proposal for a new competition to compete with the Champions League was unanimously condemned in April, leading to the withdrawal of nine of the original 12 founding clubs.
Super League plans were subsequently put on hold, but Barca, Real and Juve have vowed to continue pushing for change despite serious sanctions threats from UEFA, which is currently investigating on their involvement in the breakaway.
What was said?
The three remaining clubs issued a statement criticizing the main governing body of European football last week, which said: “FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and Real Madrid CF wish to express their absolute rejection of the insistent coercion that UEFA exerts on three of the most important institutions in football history.
“The opening of disciplinary proceedings by UEFA is incomprehensible and constitutes a direct attack on the rule of law that we, the citizens of the European Union, have democratically built, while constituting a lack of respect for the authority of the courts themselves.
“Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, all over a century old, will not accept any form of coercion or intolerable pressure, while remaining firm in their willingness to debate, in respect and through dialogue, of urgent solutions that football currently needs.
“Either we reform football or we will have to witness its inevitable downfall.”
Ceferin has been outspoken in his opposition to the Super League from the start, and he cannot understand why Barca, Juve and Real continue to ignore the public outcry while risking their current status in European football.
“They have crippled themselves with the approach they have taken,” said UEFA chief Sky Italy.
“It’s strange to read press releases that all three clubs out of thousands of clubs think their idea will save football and no one else likes it.”
What punishment could three clubs incur?
Ceferin has previously said players from the three remaining clubs could be banned from international competition if they do not withdraw from the Super League, while Juve have been threatened with expulsion from Serie A by the president of the Italian Football Association, Gabriele Gravina.
It has also been suggested that they will not be able to participate in the Champions League, but Ceferin insists that the UEFA investigation must run its course before a formal sanction can be imposed.
“Our disciplinary committee is independent so by the time they start working on a case I have no scope or information there,” added the Slovenian.
“I don’t know when, if or how the penalties would be. For me, what’s strange is that you post that you’re still in the Super League and then send a letter asking to play in the League. champions.
“So you’re in the Super League but playing in the Champions League. It’s pretty hard to understand what they mean. They should call us, send us a letter, ask for a date.
“They just sent out press releases saying they want to have a dialogue. It’s a pretty weird approach.”