FIFA and UEFA must not impose any sanctions on 12 founder clubs or their players who are planning to take part in the European Super League, a Spanish court has ruled on Tuesday in a preliminary ruling.
It comes shortly after the Premier League revealed that it is ‘considering all actions’ to prevent the controversial project from going ahead while the Super League plans have been widely condemned by the football authorities in England as well as by the British Government.
The Super League is also hugely unpopular among football fans, with protests taking place all over the continent, while FIFA president Gianni Infantino warned the 12 founder club members on Tuesday that they must ‘live with the consequences of their choice’.
However, a Madrid commercial court has ruled that no sanctions could be imposed on any of the clubs or players involved until the case has been properly dealt with.
A Spanish court has told UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin (right) and FIFA president Gianni Infantino (left) that they must not impose sanctions on the clubs or players planning to sign up to the controversial European Super League
It was not immediately clear what authority the Madrid court, which adjudicates corporate disputes, had over the Swiss-based football bodies.
The court said in a written ruling that FIFA, UEFA and all its associated football federations must not adopt ‘any measure that prohibits, restricts, limits or conditions in any way’ the creation of the Super League.
The Super League project is headed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, and the company that has been set up to the run the competition is based in Madrid.
Perez, who is also president of Real Madrid, insists those involved are doing it to ‘save football’.
The Real president told El Chiringuito TV: ‘We’re doing this to save football, which is in a critical moment.
The Super League project is headed by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, and the company that has been set up to the run the competition is based in Madrid
‘The important clubs in England, Italy, and Spain must find a solution to a very bad situation that football is going through.
‘The only way of making money from admissions is by making more competitive games that are more attractive, that fans around the world can see.’
The company applied to the Spanish court for an injunction to prevent football regulators from taking any action against its new league. The judge slapped a preliminary block on FIFA and UEFA at least for the duration of the legal proceedings.
The court intervention came after both UEFA and FIFA warned they would impose sanctions on clubs and players competing in the new league, which has been set up as a rival to UEFA’s established Champions League.
Under the proposals for the new 20-team competitions, matches would be played in midweek slots, effectively replacing the Champions League and the Europa League.
But this would leave weekend dates available to continue participating in the Premier League, Serie A, LaLiga or other domestic competitions.
Fans have reacted with fury against the proposals to break away and form a Super League
News of the Super League, which is being bankrolled to the tune of £4.3billion by the Wall Street giant JP Morgan, has sent shockwaves through football.
The Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, Spanish trio Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid as well as Italy’s Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have signed up as founder members.
But it has sparked an enormous backlash from other clubs, national associations and fans around Europe.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also suggested that he will side with the FA on stopping the Super League plans from going ahead.
‘I don’t like the look of these proposals, and we’ll be consulted about what we can do,’ said Mr Johnson.
‘We are going to look at everything that we can do with the football authorities to make sure that this doesn’t go ahead in the way that it’s currently being proposed.
‘I don’t think that it’s good news for fans, I don’t think it’s good news for football in this country.
‘These clubs are not just great global brands – of course they’re great global brands – they’re also clubs that have originated historically from their towns, from their cities, from their local communities. They should have a link with those fans, and with the fanbase in their community.
PM Boris Johnson has condemned six English Premier League clubs who announced plans to join a European Super League
‘So it is very, very important that that continues to be the case.’
Along with the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola became the latest big name in football to oppose the idea of an all-inclusive Super League.
Guardiola hammered the plans on Tuesday by strongly stating that ‘sport is not sport when it doesn’t matter if you lose’ while also confirming that he only found out of the developments on Sunday and rebuked ringleaders for a lack of clarity.
Guardiola took aim at UEFA for pushing elite clubs to the brink of a breakaway but has been left dumbfounded by the concept that City have signed their name to.
‘It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist,’ he said. ‘It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed or it doesn’t matter where you lose.
‘It is not fair when one team fight, fight, fight at the top and cannot be qualified because it is just for a few teams.
‘The right people have the obligation, the duty, to clarify as soon as possible, clarify all around the world why these teams play and the others not. Ajax – with four Champions Leagues – why they are not there?
Pep Guardiola hit out at the European Super League by insisting it is ‘NOT sport’ if winning and losing does not matter, with the proposals of a breakaway taking away relegation threat
‘Everyone makes (decisions for their) own interest. The Premier League looks at his interest, UEFA looks at his. To arrive in that point, Uefa have failed. They have to communicate and be in touch before.’
Guardiola sarcastically claimed ‘it is an honour’ that he was the first person employed by City to publicly discuss the proposals.
The Catalan added he had been left uneasy by the situation.
‘For all of us managers, it is uncomfortable,’ he said. ‘Presidents can talk more clear what is the idea for the future and where football is going to go.
‘It is not yet breathing, it is an embryo that is not yet breathing, it is just a statement.
‘I would love the president go all around the world and say what is the reason we took this decision. I support this club and I am part of the club but also I have my own opinion.’