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Real Madrid, Barca and Juve defend Super League plans as Premier League sides accept UEFA punishments

The Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ have all accepted hefty fines for their involvement in the attempted European Super League breakaway, while rebels Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus all face a potential Champions League ban for their continued support of the proposal.

The footballing world was rocked just a few weeks ago as 12 of Europe’s elite club’s announced their backing of a radical and hugely controversial closed-shop Super League, that would effectively alter the very fabric of the modern game and severely disrupt the current footballing pyramid.

 

After an intense backlash from ex-players, supporters and eventually current stars and managers, the plans were quickly halted just 48 hours after the initial announcement, the Premier League’s top sides swiftly pulling out after fan protests across the country.

AC Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid followed suit soon after, the proposal falling apart no sooner than it was made public, albeit with Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus failing to relinquish their support for the plans.

While the initial ramifications of the ‘Founding Clubs’ involvement in the debacle have largely been fan outcry and protest, heightening already fractious relationships between supporters and owners – particularly at Manchester United and Arsenal – it would seem that more formal consequences are on the horizon.

As per the Associated Press, the nine clubs who have backed away from the Super League plans have accepted paying hefty fines for their involvement, while the other three ‘rebels’ could face a ban from European competition.

As part of a ‘peace deal’ with UEFA, the group of nine clubs will each sacrifice 5 per cent of revenue for one season playing in Europe, while they have also agreed to fork out a collective contribution of 15 million euros towards grassroots football, as a “gesture of goodwill”.

Man United owner Joel Glazer has already announced he will personally pay the required fines, rather than it having to come out of the club itself, while both Arsenal and Tottenham have also made similar announcements.

Uefa’s punishment does not end there, however, the clubs also agreeing to pay €100 million should they try a similar stunt in the future, while they could be forced to pay half that amount if they breach any further committments to the European governing body.

As for the three side’s remaining as part of the so-called Super League, they could be in line for bans from involvement in European competition, Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin previously hinting at such punishment.

Despite those threats, a joint statement from the remaining trio today has outlined their continued commitment to the proposal and reinforced the reasons they sought to break away in the first place, although they outlined their willingness to engage in discussions with both UEFA and FIFA regarding the future of football.

The statement says the aim of the Super League was to provide ‘solutions to the current unsustainable situation in the football industry’ and says the three sides are ‘ready to reconsider the proposed approach’.

However, it adds that they consider it to be ‘highly irresponsible’ to abandon the project given the ‘systemic crisis in the football sector’ and need to answer the ‘existential questions that threaten the football industry’.

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