Sports

European Super League Participants: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, And More - Who Stands Where?

European Court of Justice's ruling on Thursday, December 21, paved the way for European Super League return. Barcelona and Real Madrid immediately threw their support behind the cause but others, like Manchester United and Chelsea, underlined their backing to UEFA

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UEFA Champions League 2023-24: Napoli vs Real Madrid
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"We have won the right to compete. The UEFA-monopoly is over. Football is FREE. Clubs are now free from the threat of sanction AND free to determine their own futures”, our CEO Bernd Reichart comments the CJEU decision," tweeted A22 on December 21, 2023, a day marked by a landmark decision concerning the future of European football. (Football News)

Two years ago, 12 clubs attempted to break away from the established order and launch a competition of their own titled the European Super League. The proposal was met by intense fan backlash upon reveal, so much so that one after the other, all but three of the original members of the competition withdrew their names from it. Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus continued to fight for a league they believed would help the sport grow more sustainably, until Juventus, too, dropped from the billing. FIFA and UEFA, two organisations that the Super League had hoped to eclipse, won - or so they thought. 

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On Thursday, the European Court of Justice ruled against the two behemoths, claiming their attempts to restrict the Super League to be unlawful. The judgement opened the door for the return of the proposed competition and, sure enough, plans were immediately revealed to resurrect it by 2025. 

"The Fifa and Uefa rules on prior approval of interclub football competitions, such as the Super League, are contrary to EU law. They are contrary to competition law and the freedom to provide services," said the ECJ ruling.

The hours that followed were punctuated by clubs revealing their alliances in what is shaping up to be a battle for the future of European football itself. 

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Naturally, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid celebrated the decision with much gusto, unveiling media that sifted through their many European adventures and portrayed them as significant cogs in European football. Reports followed with names of teams all over the continent that had allied themselves with the two Spanish superpowers and the new competition: Napoli, PSV, Benfica, Red Star, and Anderlecht were all named in favour of the tournament, albeit unofficially. 

However, as strong as the support for the Super League was, the proposed idea also faced significant opposition, not least from the clubs which once were part of the very contest. Manchester United led the way for the English giants with Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur all confirming their allegiance to UEFA; Liverpool declined to position themselves one way or the other at the time of writing. Atletico Madrid were among the many Spanish clubs to oppose the competition, as were Euro heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich - the pair also the only two 'big' sides to not have joined the original league. 

Here are how the teams stand in terms of the Super League, both reportedly and officially:

Those in favour: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Napoli, PSV, Benfica, Red Star, Anderlecht

Those opposed: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, AS Roma, Borussia Dortmund, AS Monaco, Inter Milan, Villarreal, Valencia, Sevilla, Celtic, Porto, Feyenoord, Atalanta, Real Sociedad

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