Barca’s Laporta says ESL is still alive and doesn’t give a f**k if English don’t turn up

February 5 – Despite UEFA insisting the project is dead in the water, Barcelona president Joan Laporta (pictured) says a European Super League could be up and running as soon as next season.

Two months after December’s ruling by the European Court of Justice that UEFA and FIFA broke EU competition rules by attempting to block the seemingly doomed breakaway league, Laporta – whose club, along with Real Madrid, are the only ones to publicly still back the concept – is giving the idea two seasons to get off the ground before “rethinking everything”.

The original idea quickly collapsed in April 2021 amidst a fan backlash with almost all the 12 initial clubs pulling out.

But the surprise ECJ judgement theoretically breathed new life into the project and was seen as a blow to the authority of UEFA and FIFA and how they govern the game.  Following the ECJ ruling, Super League promoters A22 Sports Management announced plans for a new 64-team tournament to compete with or replace UEFA’s Champions League.

“The Super League could start next season, or it will be in 2025-26, and if not, I will rethink everything,” Laporta told RAC1 radio station.

English clubs have made it clear they will not support a Super League while Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have also opted out.

The Premier League have warned clubs face a 30-point deduction if they attempted to join another breakaway league in future and each would be fined £25 million.

But speaking in Catalan, Laporta used the phrase, “que vinguin o no vinguin els anglesos me la repamplinfa” – which reportedly translates as “I don’t give a f— if the English come or not. They already have their Super League – the Premier League.”

He said the project could begin with just 16 teams including the top clubs in Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands and some in France.

“The European Cup started in 1955 with very few clubs and later became the top competition in Europe. I imagine a first phase like this, and (more clubs) then integrating.”

“The Super League means that you’re putting €100 million on the table for a club just for competing in the competition, at least, and you don’t even get that for winning the Champions League.”

Yet no sooner had he spoken than Roma, Marseille and Inter Milan all rejected suggestions they might take part.

“Roma reiterates that it does not support any project related to the so-called Super League,” the club said.

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