The three clubs sticking to their guns over the doomed European Super League plot have branded the stance of Liverpool and the clubs that decided to step away as 'incoherent and inconsistent'.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have all remained committed to the project despite the fact that nine of the clubs that they had sought to enter into a new breakaway competition with have all stepped away from the toxic idea.
Liverpool were one of the 12 major European clubs to declare their intentions to join a new competition last month but, along with nine others, back tracked and bowed to pressure from fans, governing bodies and the wider football community as the plans, which would have been extremely lucrative for the clubs involved, crashed and burned just 48 hours after being announced.
Even US investment bank JP Morgan had admitted they had misjudged the situation over the project, which they would have been financing to the tune of $3.24bn.
Fenway Sports Group chief and Liverpool principal owner John Henry had apologised to fans via a video message and FSG last week met with members of the Reds' supporters group Spirit of Shankly to try and find a workable way past the mess that the club's owners had caused for themselves and try to heal the rift with supporters.
The nine clubs who went cold on the idea signed up to a UEFA club declaration agreement yesterday to try and find a way forward after a such a bitter row, and the clubs know that they face an £87m (€100m) fine should they ever seek to try and breakaway again.
But chiefs at cash-strapped Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have hit out at UEFA and the clubs to have left the plans, refusing to give up on the idea of the Super League. For the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, particularly, the Super League was a golden ticket to try and put out the raging financial fires that they are contending with after the pandemic exposed their wild spending in pursuit of success.
A joint statement by the three clubs read: "The founding clubs of the Superliga have received - and continue to receive - pressure, threats and offenses to abandon the project and its responsibility and right to provide solutions to the football ecosystem as a result of concrete proposals through dialogue constructive.
"This is unacceptable in a state of law and the Courts have already ruled on the Super League project by ordering FIFA and UEFA to resolutely abstain while the court proceedings are being processed, directly or through their affiliated entities, to carry out any action that may penalise the founding clubs or that goes against the Superliga, and thus recognize the appearance of good law of this initiative.
"The Super League project was designed jointly by its 12 founding clubs:
- a. In order to provide solutions to the unsustainable situation currently facing the football family; The 12 founding clubs, as well as various players in European football, have expressed their deep concern at the current socio-economic situation, considering that it is essential to undertake structural reforms aimed at ensuring the sustainability of our sport. Therefore, on April 18, the 12 founding clubs announced their desire to create the Super League and to establish a channel of communication with UEFA and FIFA, with a constructive spirit and collaboration between the parties, as notified to them on that date.
- b. Form the utmost respect for the current structures of football and its ecosystem; In this sense, the founding clubs expressly agreed that the Super League would only take place if this competition was recognized by UEFA and/or FIFA or if, under the applicable legal system, it was recognized as a generally compatible competition. with the continuity of the founding clubs in their respective national competitions. However, and despite being aware of these terms, UEFA and FIFA have refused to establish any appropriate communication channel.
- c. To bring financial stability to the whole family of European football, currently affected by a deep crisis that threatens the survival of many clubs; proof of this, the commitment made by the Super League to pay annual solidarity payments that materially multiply those offered by UEFA, and the obligation to strengthen the rules of financial sustainability by creating a clear, transparent control system and effectively verified by experts.
"The Super League was understood by the 12 founding clubs as a unique opportunity to offer fans around the world the best possible show and increase global interest in the sport, which faces new generational trends that threaten its future. On the other hand, its primary purpose was also to promote women's football globally, a historic opportunity for its promotion.
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"We are fully aware of the diversity of reactions, in very different areas, that has produced the initiative of the Super League and, consequently, of the need to reflect on the reasons that have generated these reactions and reconsider the approach proposed in whatever is necessary.
"However, we incurred a serious irresponsibility if, being aware of the needs and systemic crisis of the football sector, a circumstance that led us to announce the Super League, we abandoned our mission to provide effective and sustainable solutions and answers to questions that threaten football.
"We deeply regret that our friends and founding partners of the Super League project are immersed in an incoherent - and inconsistent - stance after making certain commitments to UEFA yesterday. However, given that the material problems that led the 12 clubs to announce the Super League a few weeks ago have not disappeared, we reiterate that, out of respect for our history, for our responsibility to our partners and fans, for sustainability financial and for the good of football, we have a duty to act responsibly and persevere in the search for solutions, despite the unacceptable pressures and threats we continue to receive from UEFA.
"In conclusion, we reiterate to FIFA, UEFA and all football players, as we have done on several occasions since the announcement of the Super League, our commitment and firm will to debate, with due respect, without completely intolerable pressures and with respect for the rule of law, the most appropriate solutions for the sustainability of the whole football family."