Italian football giants Juventus on Thursday announced that the club has begun the process of withdrawing from the European Super League (ESL) project.
Juventus said that discussions have begun with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona,
What is the European Super League again?
In April 2021, 12 of Europe’s richest football teams announced plans to create a cross-European club competition in which only they would qualify.
The decision prompted angry protests from supporters, particularly in England, where half of the teams are from the Premier League. It disintegrated within 48 hours.
Politicians such as Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and even former Prime Minister Boris Johnson ended up weighing in on the debate and criticizing the plan.
The project became a challenge to the European governing body UEFA’s control of competitive structures, and also a symbol of the commercialization and increasing overseas-based ownership of big clubs in the modern era.
German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have refused to take part and have spoken out against the plan, saying it risks damaging domestic competition and alienating local fans.
As the anger showed no sign of abating, the project’s participants quickly pulled out, soon leaving Juventus as the last Italian participant, along with the two Spanish behemoths Barca and Real.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Chelsea, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid all withdrew within a week.
No European Super League game has taken place and none is likely to happen in the near future.
Decision days after ex-chairman Agnelli’s ban
Juventus said it understood that its exit would be complete and effective if Real Madrid and Barcelona agreed, but talks and talks aimed at this outcome have already begun.
“After such discussions, and given the existing differences in the interpretation of the relevant contractual terms applicable to the Super League Project, Juventus confirms that it has started the exit procedure,” said the club. .
Former Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, one of the figures behind the ESL project, was given a 16-month ban from football on Monday in a case about irregularities in the club’s payments to players.
Agnelli and the entire board resigned from the Turin club last November.
msh/rm (Reuters, dpa)