SUPER LEAGUE

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus to get harshest punishment

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has revealed that the breakaway Super League clubs are expected to face sanctions, but some worse than others.

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Ceferin
REUTERS

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin spoke exclusively to the Daily Mail on Sunday in which he talked about harsh punishments for some of the founding Super League clubs, with ringleaders Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus likely to feel it strongest.

UEFA boss lining up Super League punishment

The UEFA president was blunt while not giving too much away on the future sanctions.

“Let’s see. Everyone has to take consequences for what they did and we cannot pretend nothing happened,” he admitted.

“You cannot do something like that and just say: ‘I’ve been punished because everybody hates me.’ They don’t have problems because of anyone else but themselves. It’s not OK what they did and we will see in next few days what we have to do.

“But for me it’s a clear difference between the English clubs and the other six. They pulled out first, they admitted they made a mistake. You have to have some greatness to say: ‘I was wrong.’

For me there are three groups of this 12 - the English Six, who went out first, then the other three [Atlético Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan] after them and then the ones [Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus] who feel that Earth is flat and they think the Super League still exists. And there is a big difference between those.

"Some who feel that Earth is flat and they think the Super League still exists"

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin

“But everyone will be held responsible. In what way, we will see. I don’t want to say disciplinary process but it has to be clear that everyone has to be held responsible in a different way. Is it disciplinary? Is it the decision of the executive committee? We will see. It’s too early to say.”

Ceferin’s response regarding the final three comes as Real Madrid’s Florentino Pérez, the chairman of The Super League, stood firm on his announcements that the 12 clubs were still bound by a contract to the breakaway project. Speaking exclusively to AS he said that the Super League initiative would still go ahead in some format.

As well as stating how impressed he was with the response of football supporters to create such a ferocious backlash to the ESL plans, he also commended the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, and also politicians included the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Relationship with Agnelli

The relationship between Ceferin and Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli has taken a huge hit. Agnelli, a central figure in driving the new UEFA reforms as president of the ECA (European Club Association), was also negotiating the Super League split from UEFA. This is why Ceferin's described him as a "snake".

“It was very stressful,’ says Ceferin with a degree of understatement. ‘I felt like I had been put into a washing machine. On Saturday, I went to Switzerland from my home country, eight-hour drive. I had everything ready to speak about the reforms and everything in my speech.

The owners or chairmen of the twelve major European Football clubs that announced on 19 April 2021 the launch of a breakaway European Super League.

“I was even thanking Agnelli. I changed the speech four times since. They were preparing stuff they didn’t tell me, the guy [Agnelli] was lying to me saying: “It’s not true, it’s not true…” In the end, it happened and I have to tell publicly what happened.”

Champions League reform rethink

As Rob Draper explains for The Mail, Ceferin has admitted that some UEFA’s proposed reforms to the Champions League will be looked at again following some negative reaction, although he admits this will impact on the clubs’ revenue.

He said that the increase in the number of participants from 32 to 36 teams from 2024 as well as the two additional Champions League places reserved for clubs based on their historic record, would be reassessed.

Read the full interview here.