UEFA vows ‘robust’ defence amid European Super League legal challenge
By Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter
UEFA plans a “robust” defence of its position after the European Super League claimed the governing body had violated European Union competition law in seeking to block it.
The European Court of Justice announced on Monday it had received a referral from a Madrid court concerning a claim that UEFA and FIFA had acted unlawfully in trying to shut down the league, and in threatening to sanction three clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – who have refused to renounce it.
UEFA released a short statement on Monday afternoon which read: “UEFA takes note of the announcement by the European Court of Justice of the referral from a Madrid court on the so-called European Super League, notwithstanding the withdrawal of nine of its founding member clubs. UEFA is confident in its position and will defend it robustly.”
Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs announced on April 18 they had formed a new competition, and within hours had informed UEFA and FIFA of measures the Super League had taken pre-emptively to block any challenges to its foundation.
However, the league had effectively collapsed within 72 hours as the founder clubs withdrew one by one, starting with the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’.
Nine of the clubs entered a new peace deal with UEFA on May 7, but the three who have not renounced the Super League face sanctions after disciplinary proceedings were opened on May 25.
The trio issued a joint statement the following day, describing the disciplinary action as “incomprehensible” and that football faced an “inevitable downfall” without major reform