European Court of Justice ruling opens the way for the Super League 

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has determined this morning that the rules implemented by FIFA and UEFA in prohibiting the creation of competitions, such as the Super League, are against European Union law. 

This decision resolves the conflict between the proposed Super League and the international football administrations by determining that the ban on players and clubs participating in these tournaments is illegal. 

The Super League was established in 2021 when twelve clubs across England, Italy, and Spain announced their plans to create what would be a semi-closed competition. 

However, the backlash from fans, teams, leagues, and administrative bodies led to the withdrawal of nine of the original twelve clubs leaving only Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Juventus. This was followed in 2023 by Juventus also withdrawing from the competition.

We have won the right to compete

The project spearheaded in recent years by the two presidents of the remaining clubs, Florentino Pérez of Madrid and Joan Laporta of Barcelona, struck an important victory for their ambitions to establish this tournament. 

The promoter of the proposed competition, A22 Sports Management, welcomed the decision in a statement provided by Bernd Reichart: ‘We have won the right to compete. The UEFA monopoly is over. Football is free. Clubs are now free from the threat of sanctions and free to determine their own futures.’ 

This was soon followed by the announcement that there would be a newly proposed men’s and women’s midweek European competition to contest with the current model provided by UEFA, which as the Independent reports, would apparently be an open competition where participation will be based on sporting merit.

What does this mean for France?

The implications for France and Ligue 1, and the wider questions over how French teams will respond to the renewed and restructured Super League are yet to be seen, but the early indicators are not in its favour. 

In a transcription provided by RMC, the President of Olympique de Marseille, reacted to the ruling by denying that he wanted the club to join the new tournament. He instead suggested there was a pressing need for dialogue in European football […] having three or four competitions organised by so many different organisers is a disaster. 

The President of PSG, Nasser al-Khelaïfi, has not yet publicly commented on the announcement today, but a press release from the European Club Association (an organisation which he chairs) appeared to reaffirm his position against the Super League: we ‘stand more united than ever against the attempts by a few individuals pursuing personal agendas to undermine the very foundations and basic principles of European football.

PSG had previously rejected proposals in 2021 to become a founding member of the Super League, while last year, al-Khelaïfi referred to the continued plans to develop the tournament as an attempt to divide football.’

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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