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UEFA closes disciplinary proceedings against football clubs over mooted Super League

The proceedings were opened on May 25 following a probe of UEFA’s inspectors on ethics and disciplinary issues in regard to possible violations of the organization’s legal basis

MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) decided to close its disciplinary proceedings against three European football clubs in regard to their intention of establishing the so-called Super League, according to UEFA press office’s statement.

"UEFA takes note of the letter sent today by the independent UEFA Appeals Body in which the disciplinary proceedings that had been opened against FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and Real Madrid CF for a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project have been declared null and void, without any prejudice, as if the proceedings had never been opened," the statement reads.

The proceedings were opened on May 25 following a probe of UEFA’s inspectors on ethics and disciplinary issues in regard to possible violations of the organization’s legal basis. The UEFA announced on June 9 an indefinite suspension of the disciplinary proceedings in regard to FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and Real Madrid CF.

Madrid Commercial Court judge, Manuel Ruiz de Lara ruled on September 20 that UEFA should close its disciplinary proceedings against the three European football clubs at the issue.

"UEFA notes that the declaration made by the UEFA Appeals Body follows the formal notification made to UEFA of a court order granting UEFA a few days to clarify its compliance with decisions of the Madrid Commercial Court No. 17," the statement from the governing European football body said.

"UEFA understands why the disciplinary proceedings are declared null and void," the statement continued. "UEFA has always acted in good faith and reasonably understood that the decision by its independent disciplinary body, the UEFA Appeals Body, to suspend the disciplinary proceedings was in full compliance with the Court Orders of the Madrid Commercial Court No. 17, and given that the three mentioned clubs have since been admitted to UEFA club competitions."

On April 19, top 12 European football clubs were reported to sign an agreement on setting up the so-called European Super League. This decision was heavily criticized by the UEFA, the top management of national football federations, including from England, Spain, Italy, Russia and Germany, as well as by the national premier football leagues of these countries.

Some of them called to exclude the signatories to the proposed breakaway project from all national championships as well as from all tournaments under the UEFA supervision.

Among 12 European football clubs, which were reported to sign the deal to set up the Super League, are England’s Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur; Italy’s Inter Milan, Juventus, Milan; and Spain’s Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid.

Plans for mooted Super League in Europe

The European Super League was planned, according to its founders, to be contested by an exclusive group of the top European football clubs and was viewed by them as a competition to replace the UEFA Champions League.

According to plans stated in the document late on April 18, the tournament was set to involve 15 football clubs, which were supposed to be the founding clubs of the mooted League, plus five football clubs depending on their performance ranking points.

Matches of the Super League were envisaged to begin annually in mid-August with selected European football clubs playing the games in the middle of the week, while they would also continue participating in their relevant tournaments. The proposed document stated that all teams would be divided in two groups with 10 top-level European football clubs playing in each of them.

Participating football clubs in the Super League tournament needed to play one home and one away matches during the group stage to decide on the top-three teams in each group to proceed to the quarterfinals stage. Clubs ranked in fourth and fifth places during the group stage had to play eliminators vying for the remaining two spots in the quarterfinals stage.

The quarterfinals and semifinals of the Super League were also deemed to consist of two-match duels, with the final encounter being held on a neutral turf in late May after the season's kick-off in August a year before.