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Spanish soccer boss wants EU rules to stop Super League-style breakaways – POLITICO


The Spanish La Liga president wants Europe to set new rules for the beautiful game.

According to Javier Tebas – the fiery boss of Spanish football – the continent’s major leagues have transformed into the Wild West, where club giants plunder European football’s heritage and abuse their power.

Football ‘isn’t like 20 years ago anymore’, the La Liga chief told POLITICO in a recent interview in Brussels. “Just like other industries, it has evolved to require regulation.”

Tebas landed in the European Union capital last week for talks with officials from the European Commission’s sport policy department, where he argued for new regulations to preserve the footballing model from the continent.

Specifically, the La Liga chief wants Brussels to once again ban European clubs from being able to run away from continental competitions, following last year’s Super League scandal, in which a clique of European star teams attempted to flee the European Champions League in favor of a new contest.

For Tebas, EU-wide regulation – modeled on Spanish rules, where La Liga is the sole body responsible for forming professional football competitions – is needed in order to counter the urges of some of the biggest clubs. Europeans.

“In Spain the law states that there cannot be any other professional football competition besides the first and second division,” Tebas said. “If we had something similar in Europe, we wouldn’t have the Super League problem.”

The original concept of the European Super League would have seen the establishment of a semi-closed competition, where the same 12 to 15 clubs would participate each year. Up to five other clubs could have qualified for the tournament on sporting merits.

But just days after the big announcement of Super League plans, the project was in shambles.

Public outcry caused a majority of original members to abandon the project – such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Inter Milan.

Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona, ​​meanwhile, continue to fight for the right to form their own league in EU courts, claiming that UEFA operates an illegal monopoly in European football.

These Super League faithful were hit hard in December when an EU court noted that UEFA and FIFA had the right to impose sanctions on clubs that compete in breakaway leagues.

Tebas’s proposal for EU-wide regulation – which he said would solve the problem of big-spending football giants trying to create their own competitions – was not without criticism, however.

At a recent Brussels conference sponsored by A22, the organization behind the Super League plans, Melchior Wathelet, former first advocate general at the Court of Justice, poured cold water on the pitch of the Spaniard.

Wathelet, a former Belgian justice minister who had previously been the subject of impeachment demands, said there was “no legislative basis” for the EU to regulate teams that wanted to run international competitions .

Tebas, meanwhile, remains hopeful that the EU tribunal’s final ruling on March 15 in the Super League case will strengthen his position. But at the same time, the Spaniard fears that the possibility of top clubs forming a breakaway league will continue to exist unless Brussels intervenes. Decision day “will just be another date in the battle,” he said.

The case is C-333/21 European Superleague Company.



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