Barcelona's Laporta says Super League will still go ahead
The European Super League caused widespread controversy but no apology will be forthcoming from Joan Laporta or Barcelona.
Joan Laporta insists Barcelona will not apologise for "wanting to be the owners of our own destiny" in am impassioned defence of the doomed European Super League.
European Super League not over, says Laporta
The contentious project failed to get off the ground after nine of the 12 founding members pulled out amid a furious backlash to competition.
Last month, UEFA issued fines to Atlético Madrid, Inter, Milan, and the six Premier League teams involved but a court ruling meant disciplinary proceedings against Barça, Real Madrid and Juventus – the three teams yet to cut ties with the Super League – had to be halted.
Barça president Laporta remains adamant the Super League will still go ahead in some guise in the future as he issued a note of defiance when addressing the club's general assembly, where he explained a vote on participation in the competition was no longer necessary as the format no longer existed.
"We spoke with the clubs [involved] and said we liked [the proposals], but that we needed them to accept that our members would have to approve entry at the next assembly," Laporta said.
"It was logical to have that vote before 30 June. But now, as the format doesn't exist, I won't ask you to vote. But the [ESL] project is still alive, I insist.
Today we have confirmed, once again, that we are more than a Club! Thank you to all the members for coming to our general Assembly, and giving us your trust. And thank you to the entire staff team of the Club for the great organization. pic.twitter.com/mBmRHE3Xa0— Joan Laporta Estruch🎗 (@JoanLaportaFCB) June 20, 2021
"We're still trying to enter into dialogue with UEFA. We won't apologise for trying to organise a competition. We won't say sorry to UEFA for wanting to be the owners of our own destiny. At least not while I am president."
Premier League clubs "got scared"
Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham had all signed up as participants from the Premier League.
Laporta suggested the English teams may now be rueing their decision to withdraw.
"The English clubs were the competition's driving force and they got scared under pressure from UEFA," he added.
"I think they regret leaving the Super League now, seeing how UEFA have backtracked on their threats."
Laporta claimed the Super League would have been worth "€700m in addition to variables" for Barça, a sum that would have helped boost the coffers of a club reportedly over €1.2billion in debt.
On Sunday, a vote agreed to accept a loan from Goldman Sachs worth up to €525million, money that Laporta insists will not be used on transfers.
"We're talking about the viability of the club," Laporta said prior to members voting.
"No one should think that this money will be for signings or other projects. We have to stop the bleeding."
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