Following is reaction to Thursday’s European Court of Justice ruling that UEFA and FIFA contravened EU law when they prevented the formation of a so-called Super League.
FLORENTINO PEREZ, REAL MADRID PRESIDENT
“At Real Madrid we welcome with enormous satisfaction the decision adopted by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is responsible for guaranteeing our principles, values and freedoms.
“In the coming days we will carefully study the scope of this resolution, but I do anticipate two conclusions of great historical significance.
“Firstly, that European club football is not and will never again be a monopoly. And secondly, that from today the clubs will be the masters of their destiny.
“In short, today the Europe of freedoms has triumphed again and today football and its fans have also triumphed.”
“This ruling does not signify an endorsement or validation of the so-called ‘super league’; it rather underscores a historical shortfall within UEFA’s pre-authorisation framework, a technical aspect that has already been acknowledged and addressed in June 2022.
“UEFA is confident in the robustness of its new rules, and specifically that they comply with all relevant European laws and regulations.”
“FIFA will now analyse the decision in coordination with UEFA, the other confederations and the member associations before commenting further.
“In line with its Statutes, FIFA firmly believes in the specific nature of sport, including the pyramid structure – which is underpinned by sporting merit – and the principles of competitive balance and financial solidarity.”
BERND REICHART, CEO OF A22 SPORTS MANAGEMENT (the company formed to help set up the European Super League)
“We have won the right to compete. The UEFA-monopoly is over. Football is free. Clubs are now free from the threat of sanction and free to determine their own futures.”
(A22 on proposals for a new competition which will be played midweek in a league system across Europe)
“Now that clubs can determine their own future at European level, we look forward to further engagement with a broad set of football stakeholders to achieve the objective of all great sporting competitions.”
UK’S DEPARTMENT FOR DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT
“The attempt to create a breakaway competition was a defining moment in English football and was universally condemned by fans, clubs and the Government.
“We took decisive action at the time by triggering the fan-led review of football governance, which called for the creation of a new independent regulator for English football.
“We will shortly be bringing forward legislation that makes this a reality, and will stop clubs from joining any similar breakaway competitions in the future.”
“As one of the clubs driving the Super League project, Barcelona feels that the sentence paves the way for a new elite level football competition in Europe by opposing the monopoly over the football world and wishes to initiate new discussions as to the path that European competitions should take in the future.”
JAVIER TEBAS, SPANISH LALIGA PRESIDENT
“They are already (celebrating) as I warned they would. They have always been able to organise competitions outside the UEFA and FIFA environment, and that cannot be prohibited, the issue is their conditions to be within the organization of UEFA and FIFA.
“The CJEU says that FIFA and UEFA’s competition admission rules are transparent, but not that they should admit the Super League. On the contrary, it points out that the criteria for the admission of competitions must be transparent, objective and non-discriminatory.
“Principles that are precisely incompatible with the Super League.”
NIALL COUPER, CEO OF FAIR GAME
“The European Super League is not in the wider interests of football and undermines the very ethos of the pyramid.
“The devil is in the details, but what is essential is that such a venture cannot ever be allowed to pass. It is now up to the incoming independent regulator to put the final nail in the coffin of the European Super League.”
FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION
“There is no place for an ill-conceived breakaway super league,” FSA chief executive Kevin Miles said.
“Supporters, players and clubs have already made clear they don’t want a stitched-up competition – we all want to see the trigger pulled on the walking dead monstrosity that is the European Zombie League.
“While the corpse might continue to twitch in the European courts, no English side will be joining. The incoming independent regulator will block any club from competing in domestic competition if they join a breakaway super league.”
CONRAD WIACEK, HEAD OF SPORT ANALYSIS AT GLOBALDATA
“The ECJ’s ruling that UEFA and FIFA have restricted competition by effectively banning the ESL will embolden the likes of Florentino Perez and Joan Laporta to push on with the Super League plan.
“Unwilling to sacrifice their own dominant market positions domestically to create a more competitive product, which in turn would drive higher media rights fees, the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona will see the ECJ ruling as an opportunity to enrich themselves and further imbalance the soccer ecosystem and create a new commercial reality for the sport.”