Barcelona could face being kicked out of the Champions League if the club do not leave the controversial European Super League that was announced earlier this week.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told The Associated Press that clubs who failed to pull out of the Super League will not be allowed to play in the Champions League going forwards.
“It’s crystal clear that the clubs will have to decide if they are Super League or they are a European club,” he said. “If they say we are a Super League, then they don’t play Champions League, of course … and if they are ready to do that, they can play in their own competition.”
Barcelona announced on Monday it has “reached an agreement with eleven other of the most important clubs in Europe to form a new competition, the Superleague.” However, the Super League was subsequently hit by a fierce backlash from across the globe.
The six Premier League teams involved in the project confirmed plans to pull out of the tournament and were followed by La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid. Serie A rivals AC and Inter Milan also signalled plans to exit too.
All of which left Barcelona and Real Madrid as the only two clubs definitely left in the seemingly doomed project. Serie A champions Juventus released a statement which did not confirm the club’s exit but acknowledged the new league could not be “completed in the form in which it was initially conceived.”
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Laporta Says Super League Is ‘Absolutely Necessary’
Barcelona president Joan Laporta broke his silence on the proposed Super League this week and made it clear the club is in favor of the project. He spoke to TV3 about the proposed breakaway league but admitted the final decision on Barca’s involvement would come down to the club’s members.
“We had a position and we still have one and we will explain.The position is one of caution but it [Super League] is a necessity. On the other hand as it should be, our members will have the last word on it,” he explained. “It’s absolutely necessary that the big clubs, given that we generate a lot of revenue, we want to have the capacity to have our say on the sharing process. And also, we believe that it’s important that this is accompanied by an attractive competition based on sporting merit.”
Barca fans have already protested about the Super League, hanging a banner outside the Camp Nou that read, “Barcelona is our life, not your toy. No to playing in the Super League.”
Yet the the Super League project could be one way to ease the club’s enormous debts. Barcelona’s initial statement on the Super League noted that founding members of the new project would receive “an amount of €3.5 billion solely to support their infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.”
Barcelona Issue Super League Statement
Barca followed up on Laporta’s comments by issuing a second statement on Thursday ahead of the first-team’s 5-2 victory over Getafe at the Camp Nou in La Liga.
The Catalan giants noted how the Super League was a “historic opportunity” and added the club remains committed to the project despite seeing a host of other clubs pull out.
Yet Barca also acknowledged the negative reaction the project has generated and added how it plans to analyze the response and try to resolve some of the issues that have been raised.
“Given the public reaction that the aforementioned project has generated … there is no question FC Barcelona appreciates a much more in-depth analysis is required into the reasons that have caused this reaction,” the statement continued. “Such in-depth analysis needs time and the necessary composure to avoid taking any rash action.”
The Super League currently looks doomed after clubs abandoned the project in haste this week. However, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez told El Larguero on Wednesday, as reported by CNN, that the clubs “haven’t left yet” and insisted the project is not over but is “on standby.”
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