The Super League continues to trust that “the ball will start rolling”. The company behind this alternative competition to UEFA indicated this Friday that it intends to stick with its plans, despite a setback this Thursday from the EU’s advocate general, who upheld the European football body’s veto. A22, the Spanish company that runs the initiative, claims that its intention is to recognize “innovation” and “freedom of the market” in the competitions.
Bernd Reichart is the visible face of this initiative as CEO of A22. Behind him are Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Barcelona president Joan Laporta. Also Andrea Agnelli, former president of Juventus. The first two endorsed Reichart at an informational breakfast in Madrid this Friday. The executive defended that “Super League is not dead, far from it”. Also in attendance was Jaume Roures, head of Mediapro, one of the largest producers of television sports rights.
The EU’s Advocate General presented his findings this Thursday in the Super League case, which was heard by the EU’s High Court of Justice last summer. This opinion is not convincing and we need to wait for the verdict, which is expected in the spring. However, the argument left little room for doubt and showed their support for UEFA and FIFA to veto the participation of teams participating in the Super League in their competitions and national leagues.
The promoters of the alternative competition cling to the fact that it is a question of non-binding conclusions for the judges, although there is a high percentage of coincidence. Despite the fresh doubts he has raised over the future of the competition, Reichart insists he is pushing ahead and that he will continue to meet with clubs across Europe’s leagues to drum up support for the project. “This is a very European and Europeanist project,” defended the executive, the visible face of the initiative.
“The clubs bear all the costs and risks, but they are not the masters of their own destiny,” Reichart defended UEFA in favor of this alternative proposal. The promoters of the contest try to avoid the idea of its launch, for example, that it is an elitist or closed initiative. “This case can completely change the system of sports in Europe,” he added.
A22 is represented by Clifford Chance law firm in this case. Luis Alonso, a member of the law firm, says this is a case of market freedom. “There are articles [en los estatutos de la UEFA] which limits the ability of clubs and players to function,” he assured. The promoters of this initiative point to examples such as Euroleague basketball or the Six Nations rugby tournament, both initiatives outside of European federations. “The Euroleague is another example of what is an anomaly in the world of football,” said the lawyer.
Source: El Diario