By Paul Nicholson in Miami
November 15 – Bernd Reichart, CEO of A22 Sports, which was established to create and promote the European Super League project, said that if they win their case at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) they will progress to setting up a 60-80 team European club league structure.
Speaking at the Soccerex convention in Miami, Florida, Reichart (pictured) said that they are in “dialogue with clubs, players and football stakeholders” and that they have learned from the “criticism of three years ago” when the proposed league was unleashed on an unsuspecting European football eco-system, but crashed and burned within 48 hours when teams rapidly pulled out in the face of public and institutional pressure.
Reichart said that they are now “promoting an open competition”, as opposed to a purely elite league. “We are able to adapt…with a league system in different divisions.”
The ECJ has reportedly made its decision on the legality of a European Super League operating outside the regulation of UEFA, but will not release that decision publicly until later in December.
Reichart is confident that the decision will fall in the ESL’s favour and that it will be “respectful of the fundamental freedoms of the European Union”.
“We continue to listen to clubs who play in domestic leagues with no money and who continually face losing their talent… we want a more meaningful European path,” said Reichart.
“We would have the biggest competition and the best teams facing each other week after week…We are not looking to create more games, but better games with more intensity and more relevance.”
“European (UEFA) competitions are not delivering,” said Reichart. “If the ruling is against it is not over – we will accept the ruling. European club football’s lack of competitiveness will not go away.”
When asked if the ESL won the ruling and the path was opened to go ahead with the creation of a European Super League, how soon could it happen and how many clubs would be involved, Reichart was unable to give a straight answer.
“We are talking with 50-60 clubs. I don’t have a term sheet and it isn’t about asking them whether they are in or out. The current dialogue is around do you agree with our analysis… do you think a growing European competition would help you?”
Reichart said the ESL was “never a breakaway league. Clubs would always play in their domestic leagues and local competitions…we are not exclusive, we try to include everybody, try to reach everyone.”
It didn’t feel like that three years ago when the ESL proposal was unveiled, and isn’t that what UEFA already does?
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