Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have hit back at UEFA after they opened disciplinary proceedings against the three clubs for their continued involvement in the European Super League.
The trio are the only clubs of the original 12 Super League members not to have distanced themselves from the project following fierce criticism from fans, governing bodies and even governments.
UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the three remaining clubs on Tuesday, but they have responded by saying they rejected the "insistent coercion" the body has maintained while the matter is still in court.
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A Madrid court has asked the European Court of Justice to establish if FIFA and UEFA are breaching EU competition law by preventing clubs from creating a breakaway European Super League.
"This alarming attitude constitutes a flagrant breach of the decision of the courts of justice, which have already made a clear statement warning UEFA to refrain from taking any action that could penalise the founding clubs of the Super League while the legal proceedings are ongoing," the statement read.
"Therefore, the opening of disciplinary proceedings by UEFA is incomprehensible and is a direct attack against the rule of law...while constituting a lack of respect toward the authority of the courts of justice themselves.
"Instead of exploring ways of modernizing football through open dialogue, UEFA expects us to withdraw the ongoing court proceedings that question their monopoly over European football.
"Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, all of them more than a century old, will not accept any form of coercion or intolerable pressure, while they remain strong in their willingness to debate, respectfully and through dialogue, the urgent solutions that football currently needs.
"Either we reform football or we will have to watch its inevitable downfall."
The Super League was launched with 12 clubs as founding members but Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid have since backed out and reached a deal with UEFA.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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