Court orders Uefa to reverse sanctions against Super League and allow it to proceed

By Tony Attwood

This story is four days old, and I’ve waited until now to run it because I wanted to see what the UK media would make of it.  And the answer is, with one notable exception: nothing.   For most English fans, the story is not there.

But Reuters have run it and it was covered in the Mail in England, plus it has made the news in much of the rest of Europe, and it is that on Thursday last, the Senior Commercial Court in Madrid ordered Uefa to cancel all legal sanctions imposed on Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus for planning the creation of the breakaway European Super League.

Also the judgement rules that Uefa must not attempt in any way to exclude the three clubs from any Uefa competitions – most obviously the Champions League – nor can any club or other organisation be fined for seeking to join it.  Fines must therefore be handed back.

Since the court has the power to rule on broader matters facing Europe which affect Spanish institutions it also ruled that the Premier League and the National Football Federation of Italy must drop any threat of sanctions against the clubs that were in Super League.  It may be because of that, that the PL has asked the media not to run the story.

Uefa in fact suspended disciplinary proceedings last June as nine of the clubs pulled out of the project, leaving Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus on their own.  Those clubs have now said, “The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and demands to abandon the project.   This is intolerable under the rule of law and Tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering Fifa and Uefa  either directly or through their affiliated bodies, to refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending.”  Uefa is self-evidently clearly in breach of this ruling.

As Untold revealed however (and again it was a story not taken up by most of the mainstream media in the UK) Fifa has been plotting its own Super League in Africa by winding up the existing African confederation and instead installing its own people (many of whom are not African) to run affairs in the continent.   Part of its plans, as we showed, in the linked article, are to run a Super League for African clubs and from there run is own Super League within Europe.

Now because the media has refused to run what is in fact the largest story ever concerning African football in any way in the UK, those interested in football in England have not had the opportunity to put the various facts together.   It reminds me of one of our great moments, when we reported the change in the Swiss law that allowed American forces to break up a Fifa meeting and arrest a substantial number of the delegates.  (See Switzerland take a greater interest in Fifa – at last).

Meanwhile back in the current crisis, Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona have said they are willing to reconsider how Super League works, but would not abandon it.

Interestingly the judge in Spain has ordered that all sanctions against Super League clubs should be stopped, which presumably means that he is ordering the repayment of the fines imposed by Uefa.

The court has also noted that on 20 April it gave an interim ruling that Uefa must not threaten the clubs that had signed up to Super League nor attempt to stop any club from joining or expressing an interest.

It is the fact that Uefa has started its disciplinary hearings that has caused the Spanish court to express its anger, for although Uefa is not based in Spain it is seeking, from its base in Switzerland to induce Spanish clubs to break what the court sees is Spanish law.  The court also notes that the activities of Uefa are “not isolated acts (…) but a succession of acts and statements forming part of a strategy devised by the defendants with the aim of provoking the ineffectiveness of a court decision.”

The court also ruled that the subsequent arrangements forced upon those clubs that left the new league were null and void.

In relation to England the judge ordered Uefa to inform the clubs involved that it had annulled all actions against them, particularly noting that the “sanctions imposed on certain founding ESL clubs, simply under the euphemism of calling them an agreement, are a clear breach of our interim measures order.”

The big problem for Uefa is that three clubs held their ground and would not withdraw from the new League.  Had all withdrawn, no one would have sought a legal ruling and Uefa’s attempt to set itself up as a European Court of Football, superior to European and national courts, would have succeeded.

The view from the Spanish court is that clubs can form their own leagues if they want to, without interference from Uefa, just as the old 1st Division clubs did in England in breaking from the Football League and forming the Premier League.

Uefa has now ceased its actions against the three clubs that are still in Super League but otherwise has not changed its stance.   And despite the utter silence in most of the English media the case won’t stop here.  Uefa is under serious legal threat, and Fifa won’t take action to help Uefa because it does not want to harm the evolution of its own African Super League proposals.

To slightly misquote Laurel and Hardy, “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten yourselves into.”

How to save football

8 Replies to “Court orders Uefa to reverse sanctions against Super League and allow it to proceed”

  1. If all of this is true – and I don’t know what the jurisdiction of the Spanish court is – then surely UEFA will launch an appeal of some sort against it’s rulings in due course?

  2. This what happen when greed take lead in anything we do in life. Journalists, bloggers, news paper’s, tabloids should take part of the share blame for continually tell fans and club that buying and buying of players is the only way to win a football match, which has lead many club to debt and the only way they see now is to continue buying and buying which can only be achieved by selling their souls to anybody willing to pay for it. Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are all teams in huge debt and instead of them to take a back sit promote from inside, rebuild from the scratch they are after more money to keep pulling more debts on their self.
    Surely if they don’t stop this Super League of a thing Football will die a painful death that no resurrection will be able to save it.


    “This what happen when greed take lead in anything we do in life. Journalists, bloggers, news paper’s, tabloids should take part of the share blame for continually tell fans and club that buying and buying of players is the only way to win a football match”

    Exactly what I said when this first came to light.

    It made me sick to have to listen to the likes of Gary Neville preaching to me about greed when he sits smugly on the SKY gravy train. And as for caring about the ‘real’ fans when they move games around at the last minute, to all manner of unearthly times, is hypocrisy in the extreme.

    The fact is whether you support them or not, agree with it or not, it is the Chelsea and Man City models that have caused this problem. By allowing these clubs, as well as others across Europe, to artificially inflate the market to extraordinary levels that were and still are way way above the levels that the business, ie football, can naturally sustain, a situation has been created where even traditionally wealthy well run clubs are struggling to compete, and they have, rightly or wrongly, tried to find a way to maintain there position.

    But it’s not only the traditional elite clubs that have struggled, the rest of the clubs have also run into severe problems in their attempts to maintain their position in the hierarchy.

    That’s why I wasn’t really sure that calling the clubs that attempted to join the super league greedy was entirely accurate. Desperate to maintain their position for sure, but greedy ?

    If FIFA had done what they were originally going to do and introduced Fair Play this may not have happened.

    Now I know some think this is the big boys looking after themselves and of course it is, but what do you expect ? And anyway, despite all it’s flaws the old guard system was at least stable. And anyway Man City for example could of got to the top without becoming at middle Eastern States marketing tool. A revolutionary idea would of been that they could of tried running their club a little better ? Not burning through about 30 poor managers over 30 years from the early 70’s when they were actually a bigger more successful club than their neighbours would of been a start ! Then they could of done what Man Utd and Arsenal did, get a great manager and stick with him.

    Man Utd didn’t BUY their way to the top, they PLAYED their way to the top. Then they spent what they earned. That’s how it’s done. Arsenal didn’t BUY their way to the top. They PLAYED their way to the top. See how it works ?

    And now we are not playing so well we have dropped down the table. That’s how it works. If we want to get back we’re going to have to start playing a lot better aren’t we. And yes we’ll spend money, in fact we have spent quite a lot already, but it’s OUR money. It’s money we earned, and that is the difference.

    And their in lies the problem for the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, even Man Utd. You see it doesn’t matter how much you EARN, when your direct competition can always just print more, you will find another way. And that other way, like it or not and I certainly don’t, was and may still be the Super League

  4. Pretty sure Spanish courts do not have a higher authority than UK law and EU law so despite a Spanish court? Tribunal? Issuing these statements I guess this might end up going up the line. Champions league is a uefa competition where teams are invited. So if uefa don’t invite Madrid Barcelona and juventus how can a court, in Spain, tell them how to conduct their competitions.

  5. I am sure that a European Super League will become a reality. The only thing that I can see wrong with the original concept that is being proposed is a mechanism for promotion/relegation. My own thoughts would be a model based on the structure of the NFL but applied across Europe. This could be underpinned by a pyramid system with promotion/relegation between the various levels. The current system with national leagues and clubs playing around 38 league games, cup games, European games plus FIFA and UEFA having demands for qualification games and the actual World Cup and UEFA Championship tournamounts just cannot carry on. The demands on the players is just too much. I think the worst thing about the ESL chapter was the current governing bodies, national associations and especially the media getting in a paddy and claiming it was not fair on the fans. Since when did any of these bodies give a damn about the fans. Don’t make me laugh!! Like most of the people involved in running football they haven’t got an original thought amongst them. The usual thinking is ‘this is how it is and everything is alright’ and they cannot look beyond that. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, instead of having proper discussions about the problems and leaving vested interests at home.

  6. I am all for a super league . That it will need some fine tuning is a given. Also given that it may not involve the present set of clowns in UEFA / FIFA.
    I would just be happy that it will not include the PIGMOB , and that we may get some mouth watering games on show.
    And I would be overjoyed if the African Cup of Nations is disabled , and allow them to play clubs only, as FIFA want . That would enable us to play our African players , and not lose them to their countries .

  7. The thought of a Spanish judge in Madrid not siding with Perez and Real is quite amusing.
    However the greed principle should really be aimed at UEFA themselves. They have increased the demands on the players by creating more matches both internationaly and in club football.
    The Champions and Europa league formats and the new runners up to the runners up cup create more games than are neccessary.
    Why is there a league table to qualify for the knock out stage ? The clubs have already qualified through their league positions . If they went straight to knock out over two legs the demands on most of the players, the clubs and fans would be greatly reduced as probably would television income
    I have no doubt that in the near future they will form a league of their own , this is where their angst came from , they did not like the idea that someone got in first. Like all governing bodies they they are funded by the people and are rife with corruption . National governments , European Union , FIFA ,UEFA , THE OLympic Commitee they are all tarred with the same brush.

  8. What does this mean in regards to the fines that were handed out are they rescinded?

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