October 25 – The European Court of Justice will deliver its binding verdict on the validity of the European Super League on December 21, ruling on the case against UEFA.
Last December, UEFA and FIFA received significant backing in their bid to block any breakaway league with the ECJ’s advocate general (AG) saying the current UEFA rules were “compatible with EU competition law”.
Now it’s up to the 15-member Grand Chamber, with backers of the Super League format hoping for a more sympathetic hearing after coming up with a softer, revamped version.
After launching and immediately collapsing during two momentous days in April 2021, most of the original Super League group of big-hitters pulled out following a widespread backlash.
In July, Juventus, the third member remaining after 12 of the initial 15 clubs, signalled their intention to quit the project too. This left Real Madrid and Barcelona, plus promoter company A22, as its remaining supporters.
They claim UEFA ran an illegal monopoly and were breaking competition law by blocking the creation of the Super League and seeking to sanction clubs and players who wanted to join.
A final outcome was expected from the ECJ’s Grand Chamber in the Spring but this did not materialise though the body typically, but not always, mirrors the advice of the AG.
Once handed down in December, the final ruling will then be referred back to the Madrid commercial court that will apply it to the facts of the Super League case.
Bernd Reichart, chief executive of A22 which is promoting the concept of a new European league, said: “Club football is on the eve of major change. We hope the European Court of Justice will end the monopoly of UEFA and enforce the fundamental freedoms of the European Union in the world of football.
“Fans, clubs, players and the sport of football would be the winners in a market that is open for a competition of ideas and in which clubs could govern and organise a European football competition without fear of threats.”
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