Super League organizers set out 80-team competition idea

AP , Thursday 9 Feb 2023

Organizers of the Super League project presented a long-promised new proposal Thursday for a multi-division competition involving up to 80 European soccer teams and operating outside of UEFA's authority.

Super League


Setting out 10 principles for the project, Spain-based A22 Sports Management said it had talked to “nearly 50 European clubs” about the revived proposal. It is unclear if any clubs have publicly supported it.

The document follows an initial legal setback for A22 in December at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in a challenge to what it claims is monopoly control by UEFA, the governing body of European soccer. Advocate General Athanasios Rantos proposed then that the court recognize UEFA's authority over European soccer competitions.

An official ruling from the court is expected before the end of the season.

“Our objective is to present a sustainable sporting project for European club competitions, available to, at a minimum, all 27 EU member states, as soon as possible after receipt of the judgment,” A22 said Thursday.

The document provides detail on an idea first conceived by A22 leaders in 2021 that their next proposal would be a more inclusive multi-tier competition involving more countries.

“Participation should be based on annual sporting merit and there should be no permanent members,” A22 said.

Twelve clubs from Spain, Italy and England launched the original breakaway plan in April 2021. That project called for a 20-team league with 15 founders protected from relegation. It was backed by J.P. Morgan Chase bank, which later apologized for a “misjudgment.”

The project collapsed within two days amid a fierce backlash from UEFA, fans and lawmakers, who in England threatened legislation to counter it. Only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus publicly backed the case at court in Luxembourg.

English clubs are still thought to be unlikely to join a revived breakaway plan. The Premier League’s international appeal and financial power has only grown in the past two years.

The gap between England and the rest — typified by the Premier League's domination of the January transfer window and record losses posted last year by Barcelona and Juventus — could persuade team officials across Europe to find alternative ways to compete.

For any breakaway from UEFA to succeed, it would likely need support from clubs in smaller leagues like the Netherlands, Portugal and Scotland.

“Participating clubs should remain fully committed to domestic tournaments," A22 said, "as they do today.”

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