Super League clubs lose case in the Spanish court. Barcelona in deep trouble

By Tony Attwood

The Spanish judiciary has opened the door to sanctions against the clubs which joined the Super League, by lifting the ban on punishing them, that was imposed a year ago in Spain, following a case bought by Uefa.  The new hearing took place in the Madrid Commercial Court according to Le Figaro.

Judge Sofia Gil, who sits on the Madrid Commercial Court that is hearing the case, upheld Uefa’s appeal against the measures imposed a year ago.   This simply means that Uefa can impose whatever fines and/or other sanctions upon Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, that it wishes, in accordance with its own rule book.

In the central judgement, the magistrate considered that her court did not have “the competence nor the jurisdiction” to prohibit possible sanctions.

Instead, she ruled that, “It is up to these disciplinary bodies (that is Fifa and Uefa in the first instance and then the court of Arbitration for Sport in the final instance) to decide on possible sanctions against clubs.” 

However, the judge also said, “The clubs concerned will be able to object by requesting the appropriate protective measures.”

The magistrate also considers that “the threat of sanctions against the three remaining clubs does not lead to an impossibility of carrying out the project, whose financing is independent”.

The precautionary measures lifted by the judge have so far prevented Fifa and Uefa, as well as the national leagues and federations, from taking steps to exclude the players and clubs involved in creating the Super League.   So now Fifa and Uefa can take action against the clubs that have continued with the project: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

In the clearest possible terms the magistrate stated that 

“It is up to these disciplinary bodies and independent arbitrators of the CAS  to decide on possible sanctions against clubs…. The threat of sanctions against the three remaining clubs does not lead to an impossibility of carrying out the project, whose financing is independent”.

Its promoters of Super League have indicated that the project has been postponed, but not abandoned.

So what happens now?

Juventus announced a loss of almost €210m during the 2020-21 campaign and it has been reported in Italy that this season’s financial results won’t be any better.  

Juventus earned around €84m from the Champions League this season, €10m more than in 2020-21 under Andrea Pirlo.  A recent cash injection of €400m has helped them, but the club’s plan to reach the break-even point in the next few seasons was pushed back by this elimination from the Champions League.   This means that the only way to raise their revenues this season is by selling some of their players.

Meanwhile, a recent article pointed out that “While UEFA’s Financial Fair Play system remains effectively suspended while it is redesigned for a post-pandemic world, La Liga’s financial restrictions remain firmly in place and yesterday they announced the spending caps available for each team.”

What that article says is that “FC Barcelona’s spending cap is NEGATIVE one hundred and forty-four million euros. That is a drop of over 200 million euros from their spending cap for last year of 98 million euros. By way of comparison, Real Madrid’s spending cap will be 739 million euros.”

Obviously, this situation is not sustainable and something has to give.  What Real Madrid and Barcelona expected was that they would be able to run the Super League but it is clear now that if they do then they could be fined.   Barcelona could not pay the fines, so would presumably be demoted a couple of divisions.

And what then?  Other clubs in Spain depend on Barcelona’s earnings to boost the general fund of the leagues in Spain.  Besides which without them challenging the Spanish league would become Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid.  Would the rest of the country accept that?

Of course Uefa could bend its own rules by allowing Barcelona back in without paying any fines, but Barcelona still needs a mass of extra money to keep going.  This ruling in Uefa’s favour could give the Spanish league more problems than it had in the first place.



4 Replies to “Super League clubs lose case in the Spanish court. Barcelona in deep trouble”

  1. IMHO

    As far as I am concerned, I’d be all for a ESL. I don’t have any lost love for UEFA, FIFA and PL.

    An ESL would make things clear. It is a business, rules are set and hopefully like in the NFL it is run correctly by professionnals, not by amateurs occupying positions because of the old-boys-network type of principle.

    Just look at Germany and France. Bayern with 10th title in a row, and now the debate is : Haaland and Levandowski on the out and the Bundesliga looses quite a big of luster as it is a one way competition even if they run their club correctly, have created their own success and don’t have some deep pocketed head of state to finance them – so no one can criticise that fact. But visibly they are going nowhere in Europe – they lack real competition.

    France is no better with PSGHollywood FC buying the title and stars year after year. And same as Bayern, they lack real competition and it shows in Europe.

    This distortion of competition brought by the total lack of real FFP is the real cause. And my hope was that an ESL would set rules that would be better enforced and designed to level the playing field.

    Right now, PL clubs can pretty much spend as much as they want and no one says a thing : neither PL nor UEFA.

    So yeah…I’m all for an ESl that breaks a rotten situation and a rotten competition.

  2. After over 2 days of hearing Rio “listen” Ferdinand complaining about refereeing decisions going against ManUre, images of his Riley-sponsored foul on Freddie in game 50 come to mind.

    Karma, Rio, Karma.

  3. Barca probably may not be able to pay the wages of Levandowski , but he is on a free transfer. Anyone looking for a high scoring center forward ?
    Probably on the same wages that Arsenal were paying PEA . And which they no longer are paying.
    One can only hope !

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