Man Utd release Super League statement as breakaway gets green light

Judges rule UEFA blocking European Super League was contrary to EU law

Man Utd have issued a statement clarifying their stance after the European Court of Justice handed down their verdict on the handling of the European Super League. It was ruled that FIFA and UEFA acted unlawfully in blocking attempts to form the ESL – which was a much-maligned concept at the time.

The decision effectively gave the green light for a new European Super League format to be planned. There were 12 founding members of the original ESL, including Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham.

However, Utd have been very quick to shut down any concerns supporters may have, insisting they are fully supportive of collaborating with UEFA.

In a clear statement written on Thursday afternoon, the Red Devils said: “Our position has not changed. We remain fully committed to participation in UEFA competitions, and to positive cooperation with UEFA, the Premier League, and fellow clubs through the ECA on the continued development of the European game.”

Man Utd have followed Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in removing themselves from links to a revamped European Super League format.

A new 64-team tournament split into three divisions has been put forward by the ESL creators, with A22 Sports Management charges with coming up with a new plan. An advert for the new concept promises “participation would be based on sporting merit with no permanent members”.

After the verdict was revealed on Wednesday, A22 Management said: “We have won the right to compete. The UEFA-monopoly is over. Football is FREE. Clubs are now free from the threat of sanction AND free to determine their own futures. For fans: We propose free viewing of all Super League matches. For clubs: Revenues and solidarity spending will be guaranteed.”

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A22 Management’s statement came just moments after the verdict, which has sent further shockwaves throughout European football. “The FIFA and UEFA rules on prior approval of interclub football competitions, such as the Super League, are contrary to EU law. They are contrary to competition law and the freedom to provide services,” the court said.

“The FIFA and UEFA rules making any new interclub football project subject to their prior approval, such as the Super League, and prohibiting clubs and players from playing in those competitions, are unlawful. There is no framework for the FIFA and UEFA rules ensuring that they are transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate.

“Similarly, the rules giving FIFA and UEFA exclusive control over the commercial exploitation of the rights related to those competitions are such as to restrict competition, given their importance for the media, consumers and television viewers in the European Union.”

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