Manchester United and Manchester City are among the 12 founding European Super League clubs to have told FIFA and UEFA that legal action is already underway to prevent football’s established governing bodies from thwarting the launch of the widely condemned breakaway competition.
It was confirmed on Sunday that United and City, along with Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, have committed to compete in the Super League, which is being bankrolled by the American financial institution JP Morgan. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan have also signed up.
Prior to official confirmation of the Super League plans late on Sunday night, UEFA warned that any clubs and players participating in it would be barred from competing in existing domestic competitions as well as in international tournaments. The rescheduled European Championship begins in under three months’ time.
Super League organisers intend for the competition to run side-by-side with the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, but the appeal of those established competitions would be vastly reduced without the presence of the top clubs from England, Spain and Italy.
“We are concerned that FIFA and UEFA may respond to this invitation letter by seeking to take punitive measures to exclude any participating club or player from their respective competitions,” the Super League clubs wrote to Gianni Infantino and Alexander Ceferin, the respective presidents of FIFA and UEFA.
“Your formal statement does, however, compel us to take protective steps to secure ourselves against such an adverse reaction, which would not only jeopardize the funding commitment under the Grant but, significantly, would be unlawful. For this reason, SLCo (Super League Company) has filed a motion before the relevant courts in order to ensure the seamless establishment and operation of the Competition in accordance with applicable laws.
“It is our duty, as SLCo’s board members, to ensure that all reasonable actions available to protect the interests of the Competition and our stakeholders are duly taken, given the irreparable damage that would be suffered if, for any reason, we were deprived of the opportunity to form promptly the Competition and distribute the proceeds of the Grant.
“The Competition is to be played alongside existing domestic league and cup competitions, which are a key part of European football’s competitive fabric. We do not seek to replace the UEFA’s Champions League or the Europa League but to compete with and exist alongside those tournaments.”