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European giants Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona have released a joint statement refusing to give up on the controversial Super League.
It comes after nine of the clubs who signed up to the breakway competition agreed to UEFA sanctions and committed to its competitions.
Six clubs from the Premier League - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - have agreed to re-join the European Club Assosciation, alongside AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan.
The above have also been given financial punishment by UEFA, including and a 5% loss of revenue from European competition.
Nine of the European Super League clubs have been given a financial punishment by UEFA.- Ollie Bayliss (@Ollie_Bayliss) May 7, 2021
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man United & Spurs, plus AC Milan, Inter Milan & Atletico have agreed a £13.4m goodwill contribution to grassroots football.
But the three clubs remaining - Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona - are refusing to budge and as a result, are set to face action from UEFA, which could result in a possible two-year ban from the Champions League.
On Saturday morning, all three clubs released a strongly worded statement to express their views on the matter.
Real Madrid, Barcelona & Juventus not backing down on ESL:- Rob Harris (@RobHarris) May 8, 2021
"The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses to abandon the project. ... This is intolerable under the rule of law" https://t.co/rjru0vvKRB
It reads: "In relation to the statement released by UEFA on the 7th May in respect of the Super League and the position taken by 9 of its founding clubs, Fútbol Club Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid Club de Fútbol state the following:
I- The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue. This is intolerable under the rule of law and Tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending.
II- The Super League project was designed jointly by its 12 founding clubs:
a. with the aim of providing solutions to the current unsustainable situation in the football industry. The 12 founding clubs shared the same concerns -as other stakeholders in European football do-, particularly under the current socio-economic context, that structural reforms are indispensable to ensure our sport stays appealing and survives in the long-term. To that effect, on 18th April, they announced their willingness to create the Super League and establish a channel of communication with UEFA and FIFA, in a constructive spirit of collaboration between the parties, as it was so notified to each of them on such date;
b. with the utmost respect for the current football structures and ecosystem. The founding clubs expressly agreed that the Super League would only take place if such a competition was recognised by UEFA and/or FIFA or if, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, it was deemed to be a competition duly compatible for all purposes with the continuity of the founding clubs in their respective domestic competitions. However, despite being aware of the above terms, UEFA and FIFA have so far refused to establish any adequate channel of communication; and
c. to bring financial stability to the entire European football family, currently under the effects of a deep crisis that threatens the survival of many clubs. Testament of it, the announced commitment to establish annual solidarity payments for guaranteed annual amounts that materially multiply those distributed by UEFA, and the obligation to reinforce financial sustainability rules, through the creation of a clear, transparent and effective control system verified by experts.
III- The 12 founding clubs also acknowledged that the Super League was a unique opportunity to offer fans around the world the best possible show and to reinforce global interest in the sport, which is not a "given" and is challenged by new generational trends. Moreover, one of its main objectives was to promote women's football on a global level, a tremendous, but currently underestimated, opportunity for the sector.
IV- We are fully aware of the diversity of reactions to the Super League initiative and, consequently, of the need to reflect on the reasons for some of them. We are ready to reconsider the proposed approach, as necessary. However, we would be highly irresponsible if, being aware of the needs and systemic crisis in the football sector, which led us to announce the Super League, we abandoned such mission to provide effective and sustainable answers to the existential questions that threaten the football industry.
V- We regret to see that our friends and founding partners of the Super League project have now found themselves in such inconsistent and contradictory position when signing a number of commitments to UEFA yesterday. However, given that the material issues that led the 12 founding clubs to announce the Super League weeks ago have not gone away, we reiterate that, to honour our history, to comply with our obligations towards our stakeholders and fans, for the good of football and for the financial sustainability of the sector, we have the duty to act in a responsible manner and persevere in the pursuit of adequate solutions, despite the unacceptable and ongoing pressures and threats received from UEFA.
VI- Mostly, we reiterate to FIFA, UEFA and all football stakeholders, as we have done on several occasions since the announcement of the Super League, our commitment and firm will to discuss, with respect and without intolerable pressure and in accordance with the rule of law, the most appropriate solutions for the sustainability of the whole football family.
Statement regarding the Super Leaguehttps://t.co/Gr0VVKwjXu- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 8, 2021
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