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UEFA and the Super League, much ado about not a lot

Update:

Today in Luxembourg, a court case gets underway - partly down to Florentino’s attempts to conceal the Super League shambles and partly dealing with an uprising against an abusive power. The Super League accuses UEFA of having a monopoly over the organization of international competitions on the basis of unfulfilled threats to fine the clubs who conspired to get the initiative up and running. It never came to that as the scheme never got off the ground - not because of the threats, but because the English clubs hastily withdrew - their millionaire owners completely misread public opinion and the reaction of fans, the government and even the Crown, all of whom voiced their opposition to an idea which was condemned by the whole country.

I’m not going to start getting into any defects or vices that UEFA might have - an issue which a lot of people like to preach about here in Spain - the tales of favoritism towards Real Madrid; sermons about economic transparency but tolerance with those who flout Financial Fair Play rules. There are issues, sure, and they need to be addressed. But UEFA has a president who was elected, voted for by the various football federations/associations and European football on the whole, works very well. The Champions League is a magnificent competition which functions fairly - as we saw last season when Real Madrid, leaders of the Super League rebellion, made their way to the final and lifted the trophy - against all the odds. For clubs who don’t qualify for the Champions League, there is the Europa League and Conference League. It’s a system which works fine - as does the Euros.

So it begs the question: could those who are proposing the Super League come up with anything better? We’re talking about an initiative which consists of just 12 clubs, from three countries and nine of them backed out of the idea in just 48 hours… Could they constantly juggle 232 oranges like UEFA has to? It seems quite reckless to me. Court cases, in many ways, are like penalty shoot-outs and if it transpires that UEFA are illegally running a monopoly then the three breakaway clubs (and whoever else wants to join them) would be free to set up their own competition. But would they actually do so? Or just bleat about how they won the case and demand changes? And would UEFA allow them to do so, or hold out with the risk of causing more divisions. We’ll see, it’s a disturbing case however you look at it.

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