Uefa holds fire on European Super League reprisals

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LAUSANNE – Uefa examined its “options” on Friday (April 23) on how to deal with the 12 clubs involved in the European League, designed to supplant the Champions League, without announcing any sanctions.

“The Uefa executive committee has been informed of the latest developments in relation to the ‘Super League’, in particular regarding the options available to Uefa and the measures it plans to take,” said European football’s governing body in a press statement which gave no further details.

In the space of 48 hours this week beginning on Sunday evening, Uefa, aided by fans and politicians, quelled a mutiny by the English, Spanish and Italian clubs who presumed to form their own quasi-closed tournament.

Nine clubs, including all six in England, subsequently withdrew and even if Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid, whose president Florentino Perez led the attempted secession, are still refusing formally to capitulate, their proposal no longer looks credible.

US investment bank JPMorgan, which agreed to financially back the breakaway Super League, said on Friday it had “clearly misjudged” the failed project’s impact.

“We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future. We will learn from this,” it said in a brief statement.

To get the ball rolling, JPMorgan had agreed a pot of €3.5 billion (S$5.6 billion) to be shared among the first dozen teams to sign up plus another three clubs that had been expected to join them.

Among the many punishments being considered by Uefa would have been the possible exclusion of Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid, all of whom signed up for the Super League, from the Champions League semi-finals which begin next week.

Such a drastic measure appeared to have been ruled out by Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin who told Slovenian television Pop T on Wednesday: “There is relatively little chance that next week’s matches will not be played… If we cancelled the matches, television stations would have compensation demands.”

It remains to be seen what the “consequences” promised on Wednesday by Ceferin to the dissident clubs and their leaders will look like, the Uefa boss not having specified whether they would be judicial, disciplinary or sporting.

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