Despite the widespread criticism and pullouts by the majority of its fellow founding teams, the trio of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are not relenting on the European Super League (ESL) project.
The three teams, in a joint statement at the weekend, slammed the ‘unacceptable pressures, threats and offences’ to scrap the ESL project.
On Friday, nine of the 12 participating clubs agreed on a peace deal with UEFA and accepted fines worth millions of pounds for their roles in the scheme.
Though heavier punishments are being threatened for the three clubs still committed to the breakaway league, including a two-year suspension from the Champions League, Madrid, Barcelona, as well as Italian giants Juve appear undeterred.
The hard stance by the three clubs was reflected in their joint statement in which they hit out at pressure applied to them to back down from their controversial choice of a breakaway league.
The trio also condemned UEFA and FIFA for ‘refusing to establish any adequate channel of communication’ while maintaining that all 12 clubs ‘acknowledged that the ESL was a unique opportunity to offer fans around the world the best possible show and to reinforce global interest in the sport, which is not a “given” and is challenged by new generational trends.’
“The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offences to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue,’ the statement read.
“This is intolerable under the rule of law and Tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending.’
The statement goes ahead to explain the much-maligned ESL was designed to “provide solutions to the current unsustainable situation in the football industry”.
“We regret to see that our friends and founding partners of the Super League project have now found themselves in such an inconsistent and contradictory position when signing a number of commitments to UEFA yesterday,” the statement added.
“However, given that the material issues that led the 12 founding clubs to announce the Super League weeks ago have not gone away, we reiterate that, to honour our history, to comply with our obligations towards our stakeholders and fans, for the good of football and for the financial sustainability of the sector, we have the duty to act in a responsible manner and persevere in the pursuit of adequate solutions, despite the unacceptable and ongoing pressures and threats received from UEFA.”
The six Premier League clubs, along with Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan this week signed up to a settlement with UEFA to participate only in the existing open European competitions and accepted giving up to five per cent of revenue for one season playing in Europe.