Laporta predicts revamped Super League will launch without Premier League clubs in 2025

By Sports Desk January 05, 2023

Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes a revamped version of the European Super League could launch as soon as 2025, without any Premier League clubs taking part.

Barca, along with Real Madrid and Juventus, remained committed to the Super League project in the aftermath of a failed launch in April 2021, though the other nine founding clubs quickly withdrew their support.

In October, it was revealed that plans were afoot to revive the competition, with A22 Sports Management chief executive Bernd Reichart promising an "open format" as he sought support for the proposal.

UEFA called the Super League's supporters "greedy" after meeting with Reichart the following month, while European Union Court of Justice [CJUE] advocate general Athanasios Rantos dealt a blow to the proposed competition by stating UEFA and FIFA could lawfully sanction participating clubs. 

However, Laporta remains optimistic regarding the Super League project, with the remaining clubs hopeful the CJUE will rule any UEFA sanctions are incompatible with EU competition law.

"In March or April we will have the CJUE ruling. It will be a very important sentence and I think it will benefit the clubs," Laporta told Cadena SER on Thursday.

"The Super League will be an open competition. I would not have entered this project if the competition was not open. 

"We want the governance to belong to the clubs. I hope that UEFA will occupy one more chair at the governance table. If the resolution is favourable, I think the Super League will be a reality in 2025."

All six of the Premier League clubs originally involved in the Super League – Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool – withdrew their support following a fierce public and media backlash to the plans in 2021.

Laporta does not expect any English sides to participate in the first edition of any future Super League, though he believes they will eventually join the competition if it succeeds.

"We will have a European competition that competes with the Premier League," he said. "I believe that the English teams will not enter at first. 

"We'd love for them to come in, but my opinion is that initially, they won't. I believe that everything will end with a merger later."

One feature of Laporta's tenure as Barca president has been his poor relationship with LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who he believes is not doing enough to ensure Spanish clubs can compete with their English counterparts.

"Our personal relationship has never been bad, but it has been tense. Tebas is a complicated person," he said. "He should be more concerned with recovering subscribers to football on television, increasing the income of Spanish football.

"We are defenders of financial control, but if you make a comparison between the Premier and the Spanish league... it is up to us to make them look at it."

Related items

  • Virgil van Dijk warns Chelsea not to underestimate Liverpool without stars Virgil van Dijk warns Chelsea not to underestimate Liverpool without stars

    (NB): You can catch the exciting action of the Carabao Cup on Sportsmax.

    Virgil van Dijk has warned Chelsea it would not be wise to underestimate a Liverpool team without Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez.

    Jurgen Klopp’s side proved in midweek, when they came from behind to beat Luton 4-1 with an impressive second-half performance, they are capable of scoring goals without two of their major stars.

    Both face late fitness tests ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final after Salah suffered fatigue in his first match back at Brentford last weekend after a month out with a hamstring injury and Nunez was replaced at half-time in the same game as a precaution.

    With Diogo Jota, their second-highest scorer this season, already ruled out it leaves Liverpool looking less threatening up front even though Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz both have reached double figures.

    But Van Dijk said that did not mean Chelsea should view it as an easier task as they seek to avenge their League Cup final defeat on penalties of two years ago.

    “If they take us lightly then that’s their problem. That fear factor, we don’t have influence on that,” said the Netherlands captain.

    “I think the players coming in then have to step up and show they’re wrong. I think that’s the only way to do it.

    “I think we have enough quality to read the opponents. Players who come in have to show that.

    “Everyone has to step up and the ones that play have to deliver to get results.
    “I think if you play for Liverpool, you’re quite a good player already, so go out there and make everyone proud.”

    Van Dijk assumed the captaincy in the summer after Jordan Henderson’s departure, so this is the first opportunity for him to lift a trophy having watched his predecessor celebrate with the Premier League, Champions League, League and FA Cup and Club World Cup.

    “It’s important, but the most important thing is to try and win the game, and then we’ll see what happens after,” added the Dutchman, who accepts Chelsea are a different prospect from the one beaten 4-1 at Anfield a month ago.

    “I visualise myself leading the boys out, but I don’t think about me lifting anything.

    “I try to lead out the boys as good as possible, on and off the pitch, be their leader and so far, so good.

    “So I’m thinking about a big challenge ahead of us. Hopefully we can make it an amazing afternoon on Sunday.”

    In terms of whether victory at Wembley can provide a springboard for more silverware – Liverpool are still fighting on three other fronts – Van Dijk said: “We’ll focus on trying to win the game and then we’ll see.

    “You know we can’t think about what’s coming next, we have to think about what’s ahead of us and that’s Chelsea at this stage.

    “It’ll be a very difficult game, an interesting game as well. We have to be very good to do that, but let’s go for it.”

  • Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea have clicked ahead of Carabao Cup final Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea have clicked ahead of Carabao Cup final

    Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea are “awake” after recent results that have altered the course of their season ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

    The meeting with Liverpool at Wembley will be the club’s first final since co-owner Todd Boehly took charge and embarked on a radical overhaul that has so far not brought success.

    It comes after wins away at Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace in the Premier League, which were followed by a fine draw against champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium a week ago.

    Those three performances have significantly changed the perception of Pochettino’s rebuilding of the team, after the last home game – a 4-2 defeat to Wolves at Stamford Bridge early in February – saw Chelsea booed off the pitch by sections of their own support.

    Days earlier they were soundly beaten 4-1 at Anfield by Sunday’s opponents, a disjointed performance in which the team looked to be in disarray and well short of expectations set by the more than £1billion spent by Boehly on recruitment.

    Now the the Argentinian is confident that the last three weeks have brought a significant change in his players’ ability to compete at Wembley with title-chasing Liverpool.

    “We will need to manage some moments during the game,” he said. “But I think in the last few weeks we’ve learned a lot, we’ve stepped up from (the defeat at Anfield). We arrive with very good momentum.

    “After competing against Villa, Palace and Manchester City, it’s provided the team with the confidence and the trust.

    “The team is awake to the competition. There was a click to change in the way we compete, that we were missing in the first half of the season.

    “The circumstances are completely different (now), for us and for (Liverpool).”

    Since the game at Anfield, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has lost a number of key players to injury including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones.

    Pochettino has selection worries of his own, with Thiago Silva to be assessed having missed the last three games.

    Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is available after injury but Djordje Petrovic, who has impressed since coming into the side early in December, could keep his place.

    Klopp has stated he believes his team are not favourites at Wembley, an idea the Chelsea manager rejects.

    “(Klopp) is clever enough,” said Pochettino. “He knows that when you play a final, anything can happen. If they’re not the favourite, then we are not the favourite.

    “For me Liverpool is the favourite. After eight years they have the experience to compete like a team, and be involved in different finals.

    “For our players, it’s new. For some of them it’s maybe their first final. That’s why they are favourites, in my opinion. But he is clever enough to say it’s 50-50.”

    Pochettino added that his team may ultimately be stronger for their chastening night on Merseyside in January.

    “In this type of process, you need that these type of things happen,” he said. “You need to really wake up about the situation.

    “The team needs to learn from the good and the not-so-good experiences. It was positive.

    “After Liverpool, that result was completely unfair. But maybe that was good for us, to feel the pain, the negative situation, to be stronger now, and to find the way to compete better.”

  • Pep Guardiola: Sir Jim Ratcliffe speaks ‘the truth’ in bid to topple Man City Pep Guardiola: Sir Jim Ratcliffe speaks ‘the truth’ in bid to topple Man City

    Pep Guardiola has bluntly responded to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s aim to knock Manchester City “off their perch” by pointing out he speaks “the truth”.

    Ratcliffe completed his purchase of a 27.7 per cent in Manchester United this week and immediately set out his ambitions to restore the club to the top of the English and European game.

    He did this by reprising the language of Sir Alex Ferguson, who similarly pledged to rein in Liverpool in his early days as manager at Old Trafford.

    United have won just one trophy compared to City’s 14 in the past six seasons and Guardiola feels Ratcliffe’s acceptance of the Blues’ current pre-eminent status is the Red Devils’ first step towards a fightback.

    The City manager said: “It’s the truth! As (soon) as the teams admit it, they will be closer to us.

    “If they want to deny it for things that are not the reality then it’s their problem. It’s not our problem.

    “When I’ve been below teams I’ve always admired them and thought about what we need to do to be close, to challenge them.

    “If they want to be judged on things they are comfortable with for one day they will not arrive where we are now.

    “When we were below and United were winning, we were watching them, admiring them. We wanted to learn from them.

    “The period of Sir Alex Ferguson – the generation with Roy Keane, David Beckham, Gary Neville – and all those big, big players, Rio Ferdinand – I’m pretty sure City admired and thought ‘we want to be there’. Now we are there.

    “That’s why, for these type of comments, that I have the feeling that they will be back.”

    While Guardiola now expects United to improve under the guidance of Ratcliffe, who has taken control of footballing operations at Old Trafford, he insisted it was not something that concerned him.

    The Spaniard said: “It’s not about (being) worried. I’m pretty sure with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the other people that United are going to take a step forwards.

    “I feel that they know exactly what they have to do, appoint the people they need to appoint with their experience in the business world to make projects better.

    “But that is normal. It’s not just United. All the teams want it. We want to be there and as long as I’m here, we will try to be there again.

    “What I want is Man City, my team, being there. The rest, I don’t care.”

    Second-placed City travel to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday with a chance to cut the gap to leaders Liverpool to one point in what is their game in hand.

    Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne was not risked in the midweek win over Brentford due to what Guardiola described as “niggles”.

    He would not confirm if he would return this weekend but said he was “pretty sure he will travel”.

    Guardiola said: “He’s good. He’s not injured. He’s better but I don’t know if he’s 100 per cent. I think we took a good decision not to take a risk.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.