UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has come out fighting against the plans for a new European Super League.
It’s clear UEFA are not going down without a fight despite some of the world’s biggest clubs joining together to form a new breakaway competition that threatens the existence of the beautiful game in its current format.
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Ceferin was not at all happy with how any of this was conducted, and had strong words for the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid as they sign up as founding members of the new Super League.
He also fired a warning to any players who go along with this, saying they’d be banned from participating in competitions like the World Cup and European Championships.
See below for his quotes in full:
“I cannot stress more strongly at this moment Uefa and the footballing world stand united against the disgraceful, self-serving proposal we have seen in the last 24 hours from a select few clubs in Europe that are fuelled purely by greed above all else. And not only football is united, all the society is united, governments are united, it’s part of our culture, we are all united against this nonsense of a project.
“We have the English FA, Spanish federation, Italian federation, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, but also Fifa, all our 55 member associations unanimous in our opposition to these cynical plans, that are completely against what football should be. Our game has become the greatest sport in the world based on open competition, integrity and sporting merit, and we cannot allow and we will not allow that to change. Never, ever.
“As previously announced by Fifa and the six federations, the players who will play in teams that might play in the closed league will be banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros, so they will not be able to represent their national teams at any matches, so we urge everyone from the millions of football lovers around the world, the world’s media gathered on this call today, politicians and football’s governing bodies to stand tall with us, as we do everything in our power to ensure this never ends up in fruition.
“I wholeheartedly believe – we all do – that the changes we announce now are exactly the required next step in football’s evolution,” he said. “They are exciting, and in their heart retain the values of the game we all love. We will also be introducing a new support structure, built on a revised financial model, that boosts revenues for participants and importantly sees solidarity payments increase as well, driving a positive impact across the European game right down to the grassroots.
“And I want to emphasise today what many of the fans don’t know. Uefa distributes close to 90% of all the revenues back to the game, not to the professionals only. We finance youth, we finance grass roots, we finance women’s football, we have a foundation, a children’s foundation, that has a great charity project, so whoever thinks super league is about money and Uefa is about money as well is not right. Super league is only about money, money of the dozen, I don’t want to call them dirty dozen, but Uefa is about developing football, and about financing what should be financed, that our football, our culture survives, and some people don’t understand it.
“I would like to thank all the football family, meaning players, fans coaches, national associations, leagues and clubs as well. I would like to thank governments all around Europe, I would like to especially thank Prime Minister Johnson, President Macron, vice-president of European commission, Mr Schinas, president of European parliament Mr Sassoli, and all the other leaders around Europe who respect our fans, who respect our culture, who respect the values that are European values, not only football values.
“By my opinion, this idea is a spit in the face of all football lovers, and our society as well, so we will not allow them to take it away from us.”
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— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) April 19, 2021