Barcelona, ​​Juventus and Real Madrid insist the European Super League will still happen

The chief architects of the breakaway Super League insist they will eventually win and get their project off the ground – with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin warning that “sharks” are still swimming in the game’s murky waters.

Speaking in a four-part documentary released today on Apple TV+the key players in the fight for control of elite football show they have not given up on their goal of establishing a new competition that could destroy the Champions League and destabilize domestic football.

An earthquake rocked the game in 2021 when it was officially announced that 12 clubs, including the “Big Six” in the Premier League, had signed documents committing to a Super League from which they could not be relegated. But in four of the most dramatic days football has seen, told in detail in the documentary, the idea eventually crumbled when the six English clubs pulled out under immense pressure from fans.

“Football has a big potential in uniting people, but the downside is the power of football brings people also with idiotic ideologies,” Ceferin says in Super League: The War for Football. “When you hear voices about secret meetings trying to undermine the whole system you always listen. Many sharks are swimming around the football scene.”

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Javier Tebas, the head of Spain’s La Liga and another key figure in fighting off the Super League threat, admits that they are concerned about the potential for the competition to be reignited. “Big clubs are insatiable,” he says. “The rich are insatiable. They don’t care. They don’t have the same ethical standards. There’s always risk. We are on the edge and can’t let our guard down.”

The project was driven by leading figures at three clubs: real Madrid president Florentino Perez, Barcelona president Joan Laporta and Andrea Agnelli, who resigned as president of Juventus in November with the Italian club under investigation for alleged false accounting and market manipulation.

While nine other clubs, including Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan, eventually pulled out of the Super League, the original trio remain fighting their cause. They claim that Uefa deliberately misrepresented their proposals, insisting that the Super League was not a closed competition because there were five places available each season via qualification (the other clubs were guaranteed participation for at least 23 years). They also believe that a silent majority, particularly younger fans, are in favor of the idea.

“The clubs, Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Juventus, we have decided no surrender,” Laporta says. “We are right.”
One of the Super League organisers’ claims was that Uefa and Fifa were monopolies. But the European Court of Justice ruled in December that Uefa and Fifa are “compatible with EU competition law”

Critics fear that the creation of a breakaway Super League would be catastrophic for medium and small-sized clubs and leagues across Europe. The rebels argue that football is unsustainable in the current system.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 20: Fans protesting the establishment of the breakaway European Super League demonstrate outside Stamford Bridge stadium, home of Chelsea Football Club, in London, United Kingdom on April 20, 2021. Chelsea is one of six English Premier League clubs to have signed up to the planned midweek competition, announced on Sunday night in defiance of condemnation from football authorities and political leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.  (Photo by David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
There were vociferous protests from fans of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ clubs against the Super League (Photo: Getty)

“If people feel let down I can understand it from a personal point of view, but not from an institutional or corporate point of view,” Agnelli says. “[My] family always would say something that is well done can be done better. But you need visionaries in the leading positions to understand the position of football before it’s too late.

“The disaffection that we’ve seen from the younger generations. The amount of people that were in favor of this, to me it’s all obvious. But to achieve it you can’t compromise. It’s about creating a sustainable industry that delivers stability at every level.”

Anas Laghrari, a key advisor to Perez, insists he is “100 per cent convinced we’re going to end up winning, in the courts a change will happen, in the future an organization that is fit with the world we live in today. It’s too obvious the monopoly in place right now is going to destroy football”.

Super League: The War for Football is available to watch on Apple TV+ from Friday the 13thth January

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