La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned Real Madrid and Barcelona that the Super League is “dead” and “impossible” and urged the rebel clubs to ditch their ongoing support for the project.
Barcelona’s Joan Laporta defended the club’s involvement on Sunday, telling its general assembly that “the project is alive” and “we won’t apologise for trying to organise the competition” while postponing a members’ vote on the issue.
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Barca, Real Madrid and Juventus are the only three clubs which have refused to distance themselves from the attempted breakaway, while the other nine founders — the six English clubs, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan — have agreed to accept UEFA fines.
“I’ve spoken with Barca executives in recent days. They believe they should keep doing what they’re doing and I think they’re wrong,” Tebas said during a call with international media on Wednesday. “The concept of the Super League is impossible. Nine of the twelve clubs have asked to dissolve the company they founded.”
UEFA’s disciplinary proceedings against Barca, Madrid and Juventus have been put on hold while the consultancy company behind the Super League, A22, pursues legal action based on EU competition law against European football’s governing body.
A preliminary injunction has been granted by a judge in Madrid, and the case has been referred to the European Court of Justice.
“The model they’re defending, without the English clubs… I think it’s dead,” Tebas said. “It’s a boat with three castaways and a flag, and that flag is an injunction from a Madrid judge. Laporta says the courts have said they’re in the right, but that’s not true, it’s one judge in Madrid and an injunction. I’ve tried to convince them that they’re wrong and should work along other lines.”
Tebas said he wasn’t concerned by the Premier League clubs’ recent silence on the issue. “There’s been a lot of tension. Most of the English clubs want to turn the page on the Super League,” he said. “We can’t let the big clubs be the centre of the football industry. They’re important, but from there to letting them run the industry and decide how the money is divided… No.”
Tebas also said he hoped La Liga would begin next season with stadiums at 70 per cent capacity, with 100% “in November or December.”
He accepted that this summer’s transfer window would see reduced spending — predicting that the market “will be even more contracted than last season” — and insisted that the league would not bend its strict salary cap rules for clubs to allow Barcelona to keep Lionel Messi.
“There are rules, you can’t raise or lower [the financial controls] just because you want to,” he said. “Barca know the rules, they know that to bring players in they have to free up quite a lot of wages… With Messi, the same as with Aguero, they’ll have to reduce the wage bill. No rule will change to allow Messi to stay here.”