The EU Sports Ministers, with the exception of Spain, take the opposite view of the football “Super League” project by calling for the preservation of the “principles of openness” and “sporting merit” of the competitions, in a statement published on the day a UEFA congress was held in Paris.
This statement does not explicitly mention this controversial project but it clearly appears to be a stance against its very spirit - that of a private competition aiming to supplant the current UEFA Champions League.
It comes after the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in December 2023 which found the ban on the Super League contrary to European law.
In this text, the 26 ministers invite “the governing bodies of sport to organize sports competitions in compliance with the principles of openness, equal opportunities, sporting merit, link between annual performances in national competitions and all European competitions, financial solidarity, integrity and fairness.
As it stands, the best clubs from all European championships access - or have the possibility of accessing via preliminary rounds - the flagship competition of the Old Continent.
The promoters of the Super League have revised their copy after the outcry caused by the first version of their project, which was reserved for 12 major European clubs in 2021. The A22 organization, created after the failure of the first project, now mentions a competition open to 64 clubs divided into three leagues. However, she gave no details on the timetable or the level of approval among European clubs.
“(We) Support the main characteristics of a European sports model, in particular the pyramid structure, the open system of promotion and relegation, the grassroots approach and solidarity, the role of sport in national identity” write as for them, the 26 EU ministers.
They say they invite “the governing bodies of sport to preserve these essential characteristics and values and, in this regard, to guarantee the balance between the economic dimension of sport and its educational and social functions”.
Concerning the absence of signing from Madrid, a source within the Spanish sports council wanted to be explicit by mentioning the Super League project.
“The Spanish government has decided not to sign the declaration (...) because the Super League affair is pending,” argued this source, adding that Spain was “the only EU country where legal proceedings (on this project, Editor’s note) are underway.”
Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, the two most prestigious clubs in the country, are among the most fervent supporters of a Super League.
Barça president Joan Laporta estimated last Friday that the Super League could “start next season, or in 2025-2026”.