By Denis Turyahebwa
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus – the three final holdouts of the European Super League – have hit back at UEFA over the collapse of the project, in a blistering statement on Saturday.
Nine of the dozen founding clubs, including the Premier League’s “Big Six”, La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid and Serie A duo Inter and AC Milan, have already been confirmed to face financial penalties after they held talks with the European governing body.
But the continued resistance of the Blaugrana, Los Blancos and the Bianconeri remains a sticking point, with the three now launching an incendinary attack upon both UEFA and FIFA too.
“The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses 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 clubs announced.
“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.
“Furthermore, we reiterate to FIFA, UEFA and all football stakeholders, as we have done on several occasions since the announcement of the Super League, our commitment and determination to discuss, with respect and without intolerable pressure and in accordance with the rule of law, the most appropriate solutions for the sustainability of the whole football family.”
The efforts of Barca, Juve and Madrid – whose president Florentino Perez was a key figure in the breakaway movement – mark them out as the only sides left in the theoretical competition, after the other nine accepted financial penalties from UEFA as part of reintegration talks.