Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have released a joint statement condemning the “intolerable pressure” that they claim has been put on them by UEFA and other “football stakeholders” since the collapse of the European Super League.
The lengthy statement, which was released simultaneously by the three clubs, insists that the trio will continue to push for a new competition outside the existing structure of European football.
“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," ," the statement said.
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"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.”
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The news comes just a day after it was revealed that the nine other clubs involved in the Super League disruption have reached an agreement to commit to future UEFA competitions.
AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham caused uproar when they announced plans for a breakaway Super League last month.
The project collapsed days later following a fan backlash, and the clubs have been in discussions with UEFA on a way forward.
The nine clubs will make a combined payment of €15 million, which will be distributed to benefit children, youth and grassroots football, and they have also accepted a penalty of five per cent of revenue from European competition next term.
As part of the settlement, the clubs have agreed to fines of €100m should they seek to play in any unauthorised competition, and fines of €50m should they breach any other commitments to UEFA.
“The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA,” the governing body's president Aleksander Ceferin said. “They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe, including the UK. These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football.
The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called ‘Super League,’ and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are still to reach agreement with UEFA, and Cefferin did say that any clubs refusing to walk away from the Super League project face the possibility of being banned from the Champions League and Europa League.
"UEFA has reserved all rights to take whatever action it deems appropriate against those clubs that have so far refused to renounce the so-called ‘Super League,” a statement from UEFA read.
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