Soccer  

European Super League could be reality by 2025

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said the Super League “could be a reality by 2025” as football awaits a court verdict on whether UEFA’s attempts to prevent the breakaway competition’s launch breached European competition law.

Last month the European Court of Justice’s Advocate General delivered his non-binding opinion — rejecting the Super League’s claim that UEFA’s governance of European football is an illegal monopoly — ahead of the tribunal’s final ruling, due in the coming months.

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The Super League filed a lawsuit when it launched in April 2021, looking to protect its 12 founding member clubs from UEFA punishments.

“This Spring we’ll have the verdict on the Super League. For clubs, it will be like what the Bosman ruling [which allowed footballers to move on a free transfer at the end of their contracts] meant for players,” Laporta told Cadena SER radio on Thursday.

“If the decision is favourable, the Super League could be a reality by 2025. If it isn’t, the steps we decide to take will depend on what the verdict says. The degree of the victory will dictate what we can do with the Super League.”

The Super League suffered a blow when nine of its founding clubs — the Premier League’s Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, as well as Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan — publicly disowned the competition soon after its launch, after vocal opposition from fans, politicians and football’s governing bodies.

That left Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus as the three clubs still advocating for the proposed Champions League replacement.

“We’ll make a European competition to compete with the Premier League,” Laporta said, when asked about the absence of England’s “big six.”

“We want the English clubs to join, but we think that as a first step, they won’t. I’m a firm defender of domestic leagues but, and this is my personal opinion, I think in phase two there will eventually be a fusion between the European Super League and the Premier League.”

The Super League project has led to frequent clashes between its proponents and LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who has said it would “destroy national leagues.”

Laporta has also criticised LaLiga’s application of its spending limits, which saw Barca sell off a string of assets last summer in order to be able to strengthen their squad.

“My personal relationship with Tebas is good,” Laporta said. “But he should focus more on getting back the one-and-a-half million paying subscribers which televised football has lost, and spend less time belittling clubs like Barca.

“LaLiga has played the roles of lawmaker, judge and executioner. They’ve contradicted Barca’s interpretation of financial fair play, and then they’ve modified LaLiga’s statutes … Barca received the same TV rights income as the eight-placed team in the Premier League, and we think that’s down to a lack of ambition from LaLiga.”