LaLiga chief tells Real Madrid and Barcelona ‘we’ll not defend you’ from a Champions League ban

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Real Madrid and Barcelona have been warned by the president of LaLiga that he will do nothing to help them if UEFA decide to ban the Super League rebels from the Champions League.

And Javier Tebas has told the Spanish giants – as well as their co-conspirator Juventus – they are ‘not essential’ to the success of European competition.

Tebas now refers to the trio as ‘the failure teams’ and he insists if they do not recant on their commitment to the Super League, they will have to accept whatever sanctions come their way.

Lionel Messi's Barcelona could face a two year ban from the Champions League if UEFA's 'disciplinary investigation' into them, Real Madrid and Juventus results in action

Lionel Messi’s Barcelona could face a two year ban from the Champions League if UEFA’s ‘disciplinary investigation’ into them, Real Madrid and Juventus results in action

‘We as a league, and as a president of LaLiga, we are not going to defend any Spanish clubs. That is, if they have to be sanctioned, they will,’ Tebas told journalists after a meeting of the European Leagues organisation.

‘The facts have nothing to do with nationality. What has to be sanctioned are the facts in themselves and they are very serious things that have happened. UEFA can decide with its disciplinary departments what they can sanction.

‘Obviously I do defend all the other 40 teams in Spain… [but] we are not going to defend the Spanish clubs [in this matter] and we are not going to criticise UEFA whatever or regardless of the decision they make. We are not going to do that.’

President of Spain's LaLiga says he will not defend the Super League rebels if they are banned

President of Spain’s LaLiga says he will not defend the Super League rebels if they are banned

The football world was shocked after 12 founding members – including the Premier League’s Big Six – signed up for the breakaway Super League, which threatened the future of UEFA’s elite competitions, the Champions League and Europa League, as well as the viability of domestic leagues.

In a chaotic 48 hours amid mass protests from across Europe from fans, media and even politicians, the plans came to a shuddering halt with teams withdrawing one by one. However, Barca, Madrid and Juventus have still not renounced their involvement, in fact they have remained defiant.

Disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the three rebel clubs over their involvement in the aborted European Super League, UEFA announced earlier this week.

Florentino Perez's Real Madrid could face serious sanctions along with Barcelona and Juventus over their involvement in the aborted European Super League

Florentino Perez’s Real Madrid could face serious sanctions along with Barcelona and Juventus over their involvement in the aborted European Super League

Barcelona, whose president is Joan Laporta (above), are being investigated like Real and Juve

Barcelona, whose president is Joan Laporta (above), are being investigated like Real and Juve

Perez and Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli played key roles in the proposal for a Super League

Perez and Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli played key roles in the proposal for a Super League

That action could include suspension from two years of European competition.

Tebas believes the threat of another Super League project in the future is real, which combined with his anger at the recent attempt to form a breakaway competition and an ongoing feud with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, explains his hard line.

‘Is the Super League dead?’ Tebas asked rhetorically in a speech at the European Leagues organisation yesterday. ‘No, for me, it is still alive. The format of the Super League of course is dead. But it is not just a competition format. It is an ideology that started 20 years ago… It is the big dream of some of those clubs.’

Tebas is the European Leagues’ representative on the executive committee of UEFA, but he insists he is not knowledgeable about discussions over disciplinary action.

However, asked by journalists if UEFA were prepared to play the Champions League Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, he was unequivocal. Tebas replied: ‘Yes, it is.’

Fan protests in England forced Premier League clubs to think again over Super League plans

Fan protests in England forced Premier League clubs to think again over Super League plans

Fans across England - including those of Big Six clubs - united in protest over the Super League

Fans across England – including those of Big Six clubs – united in protest over the Super League

Addressing the ‘failure teams’ he added: ‘You can avoid certain problems if you recognise you made a mistake, which is what nine clubs have done., or if you want to continue that is up to you.

The LaLiga chief said that other big clubs had not competed in the Champions League in previous years, highlighting Manchester United’s failure to qualify for Europe for the 2014/15 season and AC Milan’s one year ban in 2019/20 for breaching financial fair play rules.

‘The Champions League has been without Manchester United playing. The Champions League continued to exist without them.

‘Milan was excluded from European competition due to financial reasons but the competition has continued without them.

‘They are not essential in Europe,’ said Tebas, who is a Real Madrid fan. ‘Obviously we would all love to see Real Madrid and Barcelona playing in the European competition every season. But facts are facts.’

And the rebel three do not appear ready to seek reconciliation.

In an extraordinary joint statement, the clubs reiterated their commitment to ‘modernising football’ and accused UEFA of ‘coercion… towards three of the most relevant institutions in the history of football’.

The statement added: ‘This alarming attitude constitutes a flagrant breach of the decision of the courts of justice, which have already made a clear statement warning UEFA to refrain from taking any action that could penalise the founding clubs of the Super League while the legal proceedings are ongoing.’

The Super League has previously obtained an interim judgement from a Madrid court banning UEFA from taking any action that may intimidate the Super League or its participants.

The clubs’ statement continued: ‘Therefore, the opening of disciplinary proceedings by UEFA is incomprehensible and is a direct attack against the rule of law that we, the citizens of the European Union, have democratically built up, while constituting a lack of respect toward the authority of the courts of justice themselves.

The legal issues behind the Madrid judgement are now being considered by the European Court of Justice.

The nine other clubs involved in the Super League project – the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, as well as AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid – committed to the existing national and international competitions, with the threat of heavy fines and expulsion were they to renew their interest in the breakaway project.

They agreed to make a combined €15million (just over £13m) goodwill contribution to benefit children’s and grassroots football across Europe.

They also agreed to have five per cent of UEFA competition revenues withheld for one season, with the money to be redistributed.



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