Rumors of a private competition between European leaders have ignited world football since the fall. The Superleague project won in concrete terms this Sunday, once again bringing UEFA out of the woods. Back on a war that lasts.
A group of clubs from the elite of the European continent’s teams is once again threatening to leave the Champions League. Their goal? Create an independent entity, the famous European Superleague. And this while UEFA believed it had reached an agreement on a new format for its own competition, to make the new version of the Champions League the most profitable and the most prestigious that has ever existed.
This should be announced Monday … unless the calendar is again upset by the “mutiny” of this Sunday, which gave concrete to this Superleague which was, until then, only a threat of bigger and bigger. A project in which PSG has decided not to take part, just like Bayern Munich and other French and German clubs. UEFA is preparing the response in this open war between UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA).
From the threat to the concrete project
The project of a very lucrative competition and reserved for the biggest European clubs was, for a very long time, a sea serpent. The noises of the corridors made it possible to spread the rumor … and to the ECA to obtain what it wanted within an established framework. A kind of pressure tactic to obtain more guarantees in favor of the big European clubs.
But for several months, the strategy has changed, and the project takes a very concrete turn as more and more insistent rumors about it accumulate. The “Superleague” was relaunched at the end of October when the resigning president of Barça, Josep Maria Bartomeu, announced that the Catalan club had agreed to participate in such a project.
A danger for the Champions League the domestic championships
What if what passed for a provocation at the time was not? What if the interested clubs had planned everything for several months, what documents revealed in the Football Leaks already tended to indicate? Besides Barça, Real Madrid and Manchester United are regularly cited among the promoters of this European Superleague. But the threat of secession had never yet come to light.
The hostility of UEFA, organizer of the Champions League, to such a league has been known for a long time since it would threaten the existence of its own competitions, starting with the C1. Information had for a time evoked support from Fifa, which would have represented a declaration of war on UEFA, the most powerful of its confederations.
A UEFA-Fifa union
Accused of playing a double game, Gianni Infantino had finally taken a very firm position at the start of the year, after having ignored calls for help from UEFA for a long time. Fifa indeed affirmed in January that it would not recognize a possible European Superleague and would ban from its own competitions any player or club participating in this project, relaunched in recent hours.
The body is also quoted in the UEFA press release this Sunday, in which the threats against clubs wishing to join the Superleague are reiterated: “As previously announced by Fifa and the six federations, the clubs concerned will be banned other domestic, European or world competitions, and players may be barred from representing their national team. “
Even before the formalization of such a project, which could take place in the evening, UEFA took the initiative and denounced “a project based on the personal interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs more than ever of solidarity “. She warns that she will implement “all the measures at our disposal, at all levels, both judicial and athletic, in order to prevent this from happening”. The cease-fire is therefore not yet in place.