European Super League ‘isn’t dead’

La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned that the proposed Super League project “isn’t dead” and criticised “shipwrecked” founders Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus for “still trying to give us lessons on how football has to modernise.”

Tebas, a vocal opponent of the project since its attempted launch in April, was speaking on Thursday at a summit in Madrid organised by The European Leagues, which represents domestic leagues across the continent.

“What annoys me the most, personally, is that they think we’re naive, that we’re stupid,” Tebas said. “What they tried to do was very serious, a coup d’etat against European football.”

UEFA began disciplinary proceedings this week against Real, Barca and Juventus — the three of the 12 founder Super League members who have not distanced themselves from the scheme.

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The clubs hit back in a statement on Wednesday, criticising the “insistent coercion” from UEFA — including threats of expulsion from next season’s Champions League — and calling the move “a direct attack on the rule of law.”

Tebas said he would not oppose any punishment that UEFA saw fit to implement, even if it saw La Liga clubs affected.

“La Liga presidents will respect whatever decision is taken [by UEFA] whether Spanish clubs are affected or not,” he said. “This isn’t about nationality, it’s about the facts and the conduct, whether they’re Spanish or Italian or wherever.

“In the statement that the three shipwrecked clubs put out, even though their ship is sinking, they are still trying to give us lessons on how football has to modernise or be ruined. “[Madrid president] Florentino Perez, [Barcelona president] Joan Laporta and [Juventus CEO] Andrea Agnelli won’t give us any lessons. It isn’t true that football is in ruin.”

The six English clubs originally involved in the project, as well as Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan, all reached a deal with UEFA, agreeing to pay a fine of €15 million for their involvement.

That looked to have put an end to the breakaway plan, but Tebas warned against the risk of complacency from football’s governing bodies.

He also attacked what he characterised as the implicit support of FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

“The Super League isn’t finished,” he said. “If we understand that the Super League is a format of 15 clubs, a closed league, with five more invited, to replace the Champions League — that format is dead, yes. But the Super League isn’t a format, it’s an ideological concept. The danger isn’t just these three clubs — the danger is the president of FIFA, too.”