Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have, according to Marca, issued a joint statement defending themselves after UEFA admitted the nine other founding clubs of the Super League to their fold and threatened sanctions against the three clubs still carrying its flag.
The Super League was launched in April, with the idea of a dozen of Europe’s leading clubs breaking away from the current Champions League format and creating their own, highly-restricted competition. Alongside the aforementioned three, Atletico Madrid, Inter, Milan, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea were all founding clubs.
The idea was received terribly in England, however, with fans mobilising on the streets in protest and the wider intellectual community railing against it to the degree that, less than 48 hours after the plan was announced, one-by-one all six Premier League clubs pulled out. Atletico, Inter and Milan followed suit the next day, leaving Barcelona, Madrid and Juventus standing alone against the might of UEFA.
“The founding clubs of the Super League have received, and continue to receive, pressure and threats to abandon the project and their responsibility and right to provide solutions to the football ecosystem through concrete proposals resulting from constructive dialogue,” the statement read.
“The Super League project was designed jointly by its 12 founding clubs in order to provide solutions to the unsustainable situation currently facing the football family. The 12 founding clubs, as well as various players in European football, have expressed their deep concern at the current socio-economic situation, considering it essential to undertake structural reforms aimed at guaranteeing the sustainability of our sport.
“The Super League was understood by the 12 founding clubs as a unique opportunity to offer fans around the world the best possible spectacle and increase global interest in the sport, which faces new generational trends that threaten its future. It was also aimed at promoting women’s football globally, a historic opportunity for its promotion.
“We’re fully aware of the diversity of reactions, in very different areas, that the Super League initiative has produced and, consequently, of the need to reflect on the reasons that have generated these reactions and reconsider the approach proposed in whatever is necessary. However, we would incur serious irresponsibility if, being aware of the needs and systemic crisis of football, a circumstance that led us to announce the Super League, we abandoned our mission to provide effective and sustainable solutions and answers to the issues that threaten the world of football.
“We deeply regret that our friends and founding partners of the Super League project are immersed in an incoherent and inconsistent position after assuming certain commitments with UEFA yesterday. However, given that the material problems that led 12 clubs to announce the Super League a few weeks have not disappeared, we reiterate that, out of respect for our history, for our responsibility to our partners and fans, for the financial sustainability of the sport and for the sake of football, we have a duty to act responsibility and to persevere in finding solutions, despite the unacceptable pressure and threats we continue to receive from UEFA.
“In conclusion, we reiterate to FIFA, UEFA and all football players, as we have done on various occasions since the announcement of the Super League, our commitment and firm will to discuss, with due respect, without pressure and with respect for the rule of law, the most appropriate solutions for the sustainability of the entire football family.”