UEFA to Punish Super League Teams with Disciplinary Action, Withholding Revenue

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 7, 2021

BRAZIL - 2021/04/20: In this photo illustration, The Super League logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen and the logo of  UEFA (Union of European Football Associations). (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

UEFA announced Friday nine of the 12 teams that worked to form the European Super League have signed a "club commitment declaration," which includes loyalty to future UEFA club tournaments.

The announcement noted the clubs will also make a €15 million aggregate donation to children's football programs across Europe, and those involved will have five percent of their revenue from their next UEFA club competition withheld as a penalty for the breakaway effort.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin released a statement about the agreement:

"I said at the UEFA Congress two weeks ago that it takes a strong organization to admit making a mistake especially in these days of trial by social media. These clubs have done just that. In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, UEFA wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit.

"The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA. They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe, including the UK.

"These clubs recognized their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football. The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called 'Super League' and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently."

AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have accepted the deal.

Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid are the remaining Super League clubs that have yet to come to an agreement, and UEFA said in its statement their cases are being referred to the governing body's disciplinary arm for "whatever action it deems appropriate."

The Super League was founded April 18 and suspended operations just two days later amid widespread backlash from the clubs' supporters.

Plans called for the 12 founding members and three additional European giants to make up the foundation for the league. Five spots would also be available via qualification. If the ESL moved forward, it would have threatened the existence of the UEFA Champions League.

Although the clubs suggested it was an important step for the health of European football, it met staunch resistance from both fans, who lamented the owners' greed, and UEFA, which threatened to ban players who took part in ESL matches from future FIFA competitions, including the World Cup.

While most of the teams quickly reversed course and issued apologies to their supporters, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has remained steadfastly in the corner of the Super League.

"I'm not going to take my time to explain what a binding contract is here. But the fact is, the clubs can't leave," Perez told AS' Joaquin Maroto in late April. "Some, because of the pressure, have had to say they'll leave. But this project, or something very similar, will happen, and I hope it's in the near future."

He warned many clubs would go "bankrupt" without the creation of something similar to the ESL.

ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti and Moises Llorens reported Wednesday the clubs that continue to explore a Champions League alternative could face a two-year ban from UCL or Europa League competition.

Friday's agreement further lessens the chances of a breakaway league, with the clubs granting UEFA the right to impose a €100 million fine for any future effort to play in an "unauthorized competition."