UEFA Opens Disciplinary Talks with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus over Super League

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2021

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 06: Chairman of Real Madrid Florentino Perez is seen ahead of the UEFA Champions League quarter final match between Real Madrid and Liverpool at Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in Madrid, Spain on April 06, 2021. (Photo by Senhan Bolelli/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Senhan Bolelli/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Only Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have openly remained attached to the Super League experiment, and UEFA announced Tuesday that it was commencing disciplinary proceedings against the clubs. 

Goal @goal

🚨 UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus for their ongoing involvement in the Super League. pic.twitter.com/iATSJLO7Pg

All other clubs previously connected to the attempted Super League—AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Inter, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham—have publicly cut ties. 

Real Madrid president and Super League maestro Florentino Perez has insisted that the Super League isn't dead, despite just three clubs remaining committed to its implementation. 

"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," he told ASJoaquin 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."

The 12 aforementioned clubs had originally agreed to a plan that would essentially remove them from the UEFA Champions League in favor of a yearly competition they were guaranteed to partake in, with the opportunity for a few additional berths for other clubs each season. 

But world football supporters around Europe quickly and comprehensively protested the move, arguing that such a league would only widen an already deep gulf between the financial haves and have-nots in the sport. Additionally, Super League detractors argued that clubs should have to play their way into elite competitions, which the Super League was essentially bypassing. 

For a Premier League team to reach Champions League, for instance, they must finish top-four in the table (or either win the Europa League or Champions League the season prior). No such stipulations would have existed for the founding clubs of the Super League. 

The appeal of those clubs was simple—consistent and substantial financial gain. Whereas top clubs stand to lose major money if they miss UCL qualification, the Super League would have guaranteed them major yearly revenue. 

In the wake of the severe fan backlash, the majority of the Super League clubs pulled out of the arrangement, with just Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus standing firm. It remains to be seen what potential discipline UEFA will levy upon them if they don't back down.