Those three clubs were among 12 founding members of the so-called European Super League proposals, which were intended to be a breakaway alternative to UEFA’s Champions League competition.
However, whilst England’s ‘big six’ clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham – all withdrew from the plans, along with Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid – these three clubs continued to back the new idea.
On Tuesday it was confirmed by UEFA that had opened disciplinary proceedings into the three sides with suggestions that the clubs could be heavily fined and even face sanctions from appearing in their designated competitions.
Any such decisions could be likely to then be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which could lead to a lengthy and costly legal battle.
FC Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid remain committed to modernizing football through an open dialogue with UEFA
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 26, 2021
The statement, on behalf of the three clubs, reads:
FC Barcelona, Juventus of Turin and Real Madrid CF want to express their absolute rejection of the insistent coercion that UEFA has been maintaining towards three of the greatest institutions in the history of football. Likewise, this attitude is alarming in its flagrant breach of the decision of the courts of justice, which have already clearly warned UEFA to refrain from taking any action against the founding clubs of the Super League while the judicial procedure is being processed.
Therefore, the opening of a disciplinary file by UEFA is completely incomprehensible, and directly undermines the rule of law that we citizens of the European Union have democratically built. Furthermore, it constitutes a lack of respect for the authority of the courts of justice themselves.
From the beginning, the Super League has been promoted with the aim of improving the situation of European football, always in permanent dialogue with UEFA and with the aim of continuing to increase interest in this sport and offer fans the best possible show. All this, in a framework of sustainability and solidarity, especially in the economic situation of maximum risk such as that experienced by most European clubs.
However, instead of studying how to modernise football in open dialogue, UEFA wants us to withdraw the legal proceedings that, how could it be otherwise, question its monopoly on European football. Barca, Juve and Madrid, centenary clubs, will not yield to any type of coercion or intolerable pressure and continue to show their firm will to debate, from dialogue and respect, the urgent solutions that the world of football demands today.
Either we modernise football, or we will witness its inevitable ruin.