UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus over their involvement in the failed European Super League proposal last month. The clubs were named as three of the 12 ‘Founding Members’ of the competition, which is now in disarray with the vast majority of sides pulling out in quick succession as a result of the significant backlash.
Barca, Real and Juventus are the only clubs yet to renounce their involvement in the Super League, making a joint statement earlier this month to defend themselves and the competition.
The other nine teams, including the six Premier League sides – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – had already been handed a financial punishment by UEFA in the form of a combined £15million goodwill payment to benefit the grassroots game across Europe.
However, it seems as though the remaining trio will be subject to harsher treatment as a result of their determination to go ahead with the breakaway league.
UEFA released a statement on Tuesday evening announcing their plans to investigate any rule-breaking that may have taken place with regards to the proposal.
“Following an investigation conducted by UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspectors in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus for a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework,” the statement read.
“Further information will be made available in due course.”
The announcement of the Super League was met with widespread opposition from across the football world, with many onlookers accusing the club owners involved of excessive greed and a lack of respect for the sport’s pyramid system and match-going supporters.
Real president Florentino Perez masterminded the plans that would have seen 15 sides ring-fenced into the competition each year, with only five places up for grabs on merit.
The 74-year-old insisted last month that the Super League would go ahead despite the quickfire exits of the other nine clubs, claiming that each team had entered into a legally-binding contract that cannot be broken.
“I’m not going to take my time to explain what a binding contract is here,” Perez told AS. “But the fact is, the clubs can’t leave.
“Some, because of the pressure, have had to say they’ll leave. But this project, or something very similar, will happen, and I hope it’s in the near future.”
Manchester City became the first club to withdraw from the Super League just two days after the plans were unveiled, with Chelsea the next to join the newly-crowned Premier League champions in pulling out.
Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool quickly followed suit, as did Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan, to leave only the remaining trio of Barca, Real and Juventus.
The six Premier League clubs were commended for their decision to leave by UEFA president Alexander Ceferin, who highlighted their courage in admitting their mistakes.
“In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, UEFA wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit,” he said.
“These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football.
“The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called Super League and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently.”