UEFA nullifies proceedings against Super League rebels

Aljazeera – European football’s governing body UEFA has dropped disciplinary action against three breakaway Super League clubs after a Madrid court ruled against sanctions.

A Spanish court injunction in June led to UEFA initially pausing the disciplinary case against the clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – which refused to renounce the project which collapsed in April.

A renewed demand last week from a Madrid judge for UEFA officials to comply with the ruling not to sanction the clubs led to the disciplinary case being officially scrapped on Monday night.

The UEFA Appeals Body declared on Monday that the proceedings against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus were nullified. “The proceedings [are] null and void, as if the proceedings had never been opened,” it said in a statement.

The three clubs are the last, among a total of 12, not to have distanced themselves from a breakaway project that caused uproar in April.

They had intended to form a parallel European club competition, the Super League, with financial help from US investment bank JP Morgan.

The project, which would have upended the sport’s structures and economics, unravelled after nine other clubs backed down when fans and other clubs reacted with fury to the initiative. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have refused to buckle.

UEFA, which had been pursuing the three clubs over what it called a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework, said it will not request the payment of $30.09m, which nine of the breakaway clubs had agreed to jointly pay, to “avoid complications”.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta recently warned that the Super League was “still alive.”

He said the Super League would mean “financial sustainability for the clubs and make for a more attractive competition”.

UEFA on Monday signalled its intention to continue fighting its corner.

“UEFA will continue to take all necessary steps, in strict accordance with national and EU law, in order to defend the interests of UEFA and of all football stakeholders,” it said.