Super League Teams To Face UEFA Sanctions
UEFA is ready to take disciplinary action against Champions League or Europa League teams that have signed up to participate in the European Super League.
The twelve clubs that signed up for a project are all to be punished, according to Aleksander Ceferin, the UEFA president. In the last two weeks, nine out of the original 12 clubs forming the Super League have reached an agreement with UEFA: AC Milan, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur all formally committed to quit the Super League initiative and will face lesser sanctions.
On the other hand, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus remain adamant about their participation in the now technically impossible Super League. Unfortunately for them, UEFA considers this a violation of Article 51 of its statutes.
According to Article 51, “No combinations or alliances between UEFA Member Associations or between leagues or clubs affiliated, directly or indirectly, to different UEFA Member Associations may be formed without the permission of UEFA.”
The three breakaway clubs refer to the documents they filed to ask UEFA for permission to form the Super League in their defence. They also claim to have had no intention of breaking away from the organisation. If the governing body and the three clubs were to turn this into a legal battle, the outcomes would be uncertain for both parties.
This explains the case-by-case approach UEFA has been taking on the matter: The project is now formally terminated, as nine out of 12 clubs abandoned ship. The careful negotiations seem to have spared both the clubs and UEFA from a trip to court.
“For me, it’s a clear difference between the English clubs and the other six,” Ceferin said. “They pulled out first; they admitted they made a mistake.”
Still, the English clubs are not “off the hook,” as they could face penalties from the Super League side and the agreement they signed to join it. What was meant to be a power play by some of the most prominent clubs in Europe and the world now seems like a lose-lose situation for some of the teams. All 12 teams that have signed up for the Super League were to receive a grant of $4.1 billion each, and plans were set in motion to start a similar league for women. The initial plan was to get the Super League ready by 2023-24.
Unfortunately for those 12 clubs, while UEFA’s opposition has been loud and clear, it was nothing compared to the fans’ outrage. After threatening to protest and leaving notes such as the one appearing in Liverpool stating: “SHAME ON YOU, R.I.P. L.F.C., 1892-2021,” the fans took to the streets to voice their frustration. In the end, the will of the people seems to have prevailed.
However, this break from tradition is something of a sign of the times: Selling the rights to televise Super League matches would earn enormous amounts of money for the club owners. The pandemic has forced most football enthusiasts to watch matches from the comfort of their homes, so that’s where the money’s at as well. And if we add the rise of football betting websites to the mix, this gamble might have paid off incredibly well.
After all, each Super League team would have played 18 group matches per team, as opposed to the maximum of 13 games we get to watch in the Champions League. This setting would have created many new opportunities for new betting sites and their patrons. For now, however, we won’t get to see it.