Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli will vow to fight Uefa over Super League breakaway plan

The Juventus president Andrea Agnelli will say on Thursday that he is prepared to take the fight back to Uefa over the European Super League, although it will be difficult for him to pledge to abandon its most unpopular measure without the support of English clubs who have said they want no further part in it.

Juventus, as well as Real Madrid and Barcelona, ​​are still backing the Super League that lived a brief, doomed existence in April last year and the trio are now pursuing a legal case against Uefa in the European Court of Justice. The three clubs contend that Uefa holds a monopoly on organizing European competitions and that the court will find in the Super League’s favor when the case is heard, now expected to be later this year, or in early 2023.

In the meantime, the three clubs’ intention is that the proposal the Super League would have 15 permanent members – which drew the greatest criticism at its launch – is to be struck out of future plans. However, it is problematic for Agnelli to say this publicly given that the legally-constituted entity, created by the Super League members, still comprises the nine that have since signaled their departure – including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and TottenhamHotspur.

From a legal point of view, it would require those Premier League six, as well as other founder members, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan, to give their approval to such a major change. As things stand, the six Premier League clubs have no intention of returning to the Super League proposal that received universal condemnation at the time.

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It precipitated supporter protests including a stadium invasions at Old Trafford and led to ends from the Premier League. Boris Johnson legislation promised to prevent it happening again and there will be new Premier League regulations to prevent any future breakaways.

Agnelli is due to speak at the FT Business of Sport Summit in London. The Juventus president, and his counterparts at Real Madrid and Barcelona, ​​respectively presidents Florentino Perez and Joan Laporta, are seeking to have articles 49 and 51 in the Uefa statues declared illegal under European law. Those articles give Uefa “sole jurisdiction” to organize competitions in Europe between clubs affiliated to national associations and forbid “combinations or alliances” between clubs without Uefa permission.

It is understood that the legal bill for the clubs affiliated to the Super League is now more than €10 million and is likely to go higher. The clubs claim that the new 36-team league “Swiss model” format for the Champions League from 2024, when new broadcast cycles are due to start, adds 100 more games with no uplift in quality. Uefa thought it had agreement on the Swiss model in April last year only for the 12 Super League founders to then launch their breakaway over the weekend of April 17-18.

The Super League, and its advisors, say that the big clubs want a smaller competition with the best teams playing one another on a regular basis and early in the competition. It is yet to say how qualification would work with the permanent member model abandoned. Representatives of the Super League from the A22 advisory group have created plans in which they say that €400 million in solidarity payments will flow down to the grassroots – but will not be distributed via the national associations, as is the case currently with Uefa.

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Uefa says that from 2021 to 2024 more than €700 million of club competition revenues are to be distributed to clubs outside of those that competed in the group stages of Uefa competitions. In addition, the Champions League provides €400 million in cross-subsidies to other Uefa competitions each season. Uefa says that 93.5 per cent of competitions revenues are paid to clubs with half their own share going on grassroots expenses and the rest on operating costs.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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