The European Super League's pledge to stream all matches for free is unsustainable and merely a ploy to coax fans into supporting the project.

That is the view of finance expert Dan Plumley, who does not see how a breakaway competition could offer enough prize money to earn the support of clubs while showing games for free. 

Despite a backlash from fans, players and media thwarting the Super League's attempted launch in 2021, the project reared its head again this week with a reworked format being announced.

After the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled FIFA and UEFA "abused a dominant position" in blocking the Super League two years ago, the competition's organisers, A22 Sports, revealed a new format for the tournament, which is still supported by Real Madrid and Barcelona. 

The plan features promotion and relegation across three tiers and also includes a promise to make all games free to stream, but Plumley doubts whether that is possible.

"Everything we've seen throughout history would point to the fact that won't be sustainable, which is where the finances and the distribution models get interesting," he told Stats Perform. 

"We've seen the proposed format of the new ESL but we've not seen the financial distribution mechanisms, we've not seen where the money's coming from and if you are going to promote a free-to-air model through a streaming service, that obviously looks good for the fans.

"But at some point you have to have some form of broadcaster to be able to generate prize money and to generate the finances of the competition. 

"Everything I've seen throughout the years would suggest that you can't go that long without a decent broadcasting deal or big commercial and sponsorship partnerships." 

Asked whether the promise of free coverage was purely intended to get fans onside, Plumley added: "Yeah, for sure. 

"You've probably made the most relevant point there, which is how much people are paying currently for sports subscription content. 

"Talking from a basis of us being located in the UK, it's not cheap. If you want a Sky Sports subscription, a TNT Sports subscription, the Amazon one… it does become quite costly for the fans. 

"So to have something that is free at the point of consumption is obviously a hook for fans to come on board with it. 

"I think we've clearly seen the backlash in the UK with the English clubs and many English fans. 

"Even if it is free-to-air and dependent on the clubs that would be involved, I think some would still turn around and say: 'No, thank you very much. Even if it's free, I'm not interested'. 

"But there is a whole range of international fans out there that follow European football and follow some of these clubs. Maybe some of those are interested. 

"You look at it through your own lens, but you also have to look at it through the lens of others. Obviously it's a ploy to try and get some positivity on board by offering it free-to-air."

Plumley said the only way the project could succeed financially with a free-to-air model was through the potential involvement of a state wealth fund.

"I think where you might see some shift in the future, and this might start to make it bigger than Europe, is will we see sovereign state wealth funds or private equity consortiums get involved with the financing of the competition, to enable them to show some free-to-air content?" Plumley said.

"In the 2021 project, it was supposed to be financed by JP Morgan and we saw that American influence, we've seen an explosion in Saudi Arabian football in the last couple of years. 

"Do one of those other big players in the market get involved in the future? I think all those questions are a little bit up in the air at the minute. 

"At some point, you have to start talking about broadcasting deals because there's only so much free-to-air content you can give away if you're going to be putting a load of prize money on the table."

The European Super League needs English clubs more than they need the breakaway competition, says football finance expert Dan Plumley.

The European Super League was initially announced back in April 2021, with 12 of the continent's biggest clubs announcing their intention to join. Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all agreed to participate.

However, a fan backlash eventually forced nine of the clubs to back down, including all six English teams, and the Super League looked to be a thing of the past.

A ruling this week may have given it a second life, though, with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg deciding FIFA and UEFA "abused a dominant position" in blocking the Super League.

A new proposal was swiftly announced, but all six English clubs invited to join rejected the request.

Plumley believes the Super League would need the support of English clubs to get off the ground, though he did warn their involvement could still be a possibility despite the heavy opposition seen after the initial launch in 2021.

When asked if the Super League required the English clubs' involvement, Plumley told Stats Perform: "Yes, I think that's absolutely the way to position it at the moment.

"And I'm not saying that it would never happen. The Premier League clubs don't really need to go following the Super League, but the Super League would be better with English clubs.

"I don't think the Super League idea is ever going to be fully dead in the water. I think we'll see it in some way, shape or form, and maybe it will happen.

"When you're talking about lots of money on the table, a lot of clubs will often look for the best deal on the table and if that is a European Super League in the future, that's when heads might start to be turned.

"But the English situation is a bit of a problem for them, because you're talking about wanting the biggest clubs in the world to be part of it. And there are some very big English clubs that have already ruled themselves out."

Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the clubs spearheading the Super League project, with the latter's president Florentino Perez hailing the ECJ's ruling as a "great day for the history of football".

Plumley feels the poor financial situations of Barcelona and Madrid are a key reason behind their Super League support, as well as the recent power shift towards the Premier League in terms of revenue and talent.

"I think, certainly for them, the driving force over the last couple of years has been financial," Plumley stated. "We know the financial situation at Barcelona has not been great. We know Real Madrid have had problems as well.

"I think the other thing with those two clubs that we've seen is a real stubbornness to dig their heels in. They wanted to be proved right and in a way that verdict does prove them right. Part of their argument was that UEFA and FIFA were acting unlawfully by blocking it.

"I think what's hurt Barcelona and Real Madrid along the way is all the other clubs that have moved away from the project.

"I think it's symptomatic also of Barca and Real's position in Spain. Yes, they are dominant, but where are they seeing the growth?

"I don't think they're seeing as much growth as potentially the Premier League's got to offer and those are little things where it becomes about, 'well, now I'm going to look at my own self-interest'. You can see how they've tried to leverage that through the Super League.

"At the end of the day it comes down to finance, and certainly in the early stages of it, it was all about money for those two clubs. Don't get me wrong, it probably still is, but I think a lot of it then was they felt like they needed to see the case through because they dug their heels in."

Premier League clubs have quickly distanced themselves from being involved in any attempt to revive the European Super League.

Here the PA news agency takes a closer look at how events this week could shape top-level football in the future.

Why is everyone talking about the Super League again?

The European Court of Justice determined on Thursday that UEFA rules used to block the formation of the original Super League in 2021 were contrary to EU law. Backers of the Super League immediately declared victory and set out plans for new men’s and women’s competitions.

Did the court approve the Super League then?

No. It simply said the rules UEFA used to block the league’s formation in 2021 were unlawful, and said governing bodies must apply transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate criteria when considering whether or not to authorise new competitions.

What have clubs said?

The Premier League’s Big Six – who were all signed up to the original Super League project in 2021 before withdrawing amid fan protests – have pledged their commitment to UEFA competitions. So far only Real Madrid and Barcelona, plus Napoli, have publicly spoken out in favour of the Super League. The court may have given Super League the right to be listened to by UEFA, but without widespread club support the idea is a non-starter. One leagues source PA has spoken to has already declared “the Super League is dead”.

So nothing for UEFA or FIFA to worry about then?

There is plenty for them to chew on here. The court has told them in no uncertain terms that failure to set out a proper framework for how competitors can seek to enter the market amounts to an abuse of a dominant position under competition law. UEFA says the rules it introduced in 2022 on authorisation of new competitions are compliant with European law. A22’s lawyers disagree – it will be interesting in future to see whether the new UEFA rules are challenged by A22 or someone else.

While the European Club Association is supporting UEFA in the face of the Super League threat, there is no doubt the ruling further shifts the balance of power in football to the ECA and its clubs. Concessions to Europe’s big clubs have already been secured since the first Super League scandal in 2021 – an expansion of the Champions League and the creation of a joint venture between the ECA and UEFA on commercial matters.

Maheta Molango, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, says the ruling should be a “wake-up call” to FIFA and UEFA. In his view, the ruling is about how those bodies wield the powers they hold responsibly and fairly. The PFA and domestic leagues worldwide have criticised FIFA over what they say is a lack of consultation on its expansion of the men’s World Cup and the Club World Cup.

The Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ have all now distanced themselves from the possibility of joining any new European Super League.

Arsenal became the last of the clubs who joined the original Super League in 2021 to confirm their position on Friday.

The Gunners issued a statement saying they will continue in UEFA competitions despite a European Court of Justice ruling which has at least opened the possibility of a club-led tournament to rival the Champions League being launched.

Liverpool have not commented directly since Thursday’s ruling but the PA news agency understands legal consent on the issue of joining new competitions has rested with the recognised supporters’ trust, the Spirit of Shankly (SoS), since the Reds’ withdrawal from the Super League two years ago.

SoS’ statement on Thursday said Liverpool’s position had not changed since 2021. Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham all issued statements on Thursday pledging commitment to UEFA competitions.

The original Super League plan fell apart within 72 hours, as the English clubs withdrew one by one amid fan protests, pressure from the British Government and opposition from UEFA and FIFA.

The company behind the original project, A22, announced details for new “open and meritocratic” men’s and women’s competitions within hours of the ECJ ruling on Thursday morning. In the men’s competition, 64 teams would be involved with 20 places available each year to teams based on their domestic performance.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin mocked the proposals and said the format was “even more closed” than the one put forward in 2021, but A22 founder John Hahn told PA the principles of relegation and promotion were in line with domestic competitions across UEFA’s 55 member associations.

Real Madrid and Barcelona, key supporters of the 2021 project, are on board. Juventus and AC Milan, two of the other 12 involved, have not commented yet but Inter Milan have strongly rejected it, so too Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

The president of Italian champions Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis, said his club was ready to hold talks over the new project. Napoli were not part of the 2021 project.

Ceferin said “football was not for sale” at a press conference on Thursday, which significantly featured executives from all the key stakeholder groups – clubs, leagues, players and fans.

Clubs have gained considerable concessions since 2021 – a new Champions League format starting next season featuring more matches, and the scope for even more in the future, and the establishment of a joint venture between clubs and UEFA to control commercial matters linked to the Champions League and other club competitions.

The ruling on Thursday clearly empowers clubs, but in the short term may be the catalyst for further reform in their favour rather than revolution.

The Football Supporters Association says “there is no place for an ill-conceived breakaway super league” after the European Court of Justice ruled banning clubs from joining was unlawful.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice had been asked to decide whether UEFA and FIFA acted against competition law by blocking the formation of a breakaway Super League in 2021 and seeking to sanction the clubs involved.

The court ruled on Thursday that the governing bodies’ rules granting prior approval for new competitions are contrary to EU law.

But FSA chief executive Kevin Miles said: “As our friends at Football Supporters Europe point out – there is no place for an ill-conceived breakaway super league.

“Supporters, players and clubs have already made clear they don’t want a stitched-up competition – we all want to see the trigger pulled on the walking dead monstrosity that is the European Zombie League.

“While the corpse might continue to twitch in the European courts, no English side will be joining. The incoming independent regulator will block any club from competing in domestic competition if they join a breakaway super league.

“Success must be earned on the pitch, not stitched-up in boardrooms”

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who has remained an avid supporter of a European Super League, insists football clubs will be the “masters of their destiny”, saying “law, reason and freedom” have prevailed after the hearing.

“At Real Madrid, we welcome the decision taken by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is responsible for guaranteeing our principles, values and freedoms,” he said in a statement.

“In the coming days we will study the scope of this resolution in detail, but I do anticipate two conclusions of great historical significance.

“Firstly, that European club football is not and will never again be a monopoly. And secondly, that from today the clubs will be the masters of their destiny.

“We, the clubs, see our right to propose and promote European competitions that modernise our sport and attract fans from all over the world fully recognised. In short, today the Europe of freedoms has triumphed again and today so have football and its fans.

“In the face of the pressures we have been under for more than two years, law, reason and freedom prevail today. And that’s why Real Madrid will continue to work for the good of football.”

Despite being long-term rivals on the pitch, Real Madrid and Barcelona have united as advocates of a super league.

A Barca statement read: “FC Barcelona would like to express its satisfaction with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in which the Super League project proposed by A22 Sports is endorsed.

“As one of the driving forces behind the Super League, FC Barcelona believes the ruling opens the way to a new top-level football competition in Europe by opposing the monopoly over the football world, and wishes to initiate new discussions as to the path that European competitions should take in the future.”

The views of LaLiga’s two biggest clubs were in stark contrast to those of Football Supporters Europe, who maintain any plans to form a Super League continue to “endanger the future” of European football.

Fans across the continent came together to vehemently oppose the Super League’s formation in 2021, with the six Premier League clubs among those to pull out once the negative reaction flooded in.

“FSE notes today’s decision by the CJEU and wants to reiterate that there is no place in European football for a breakaway super league,” a statement read.

“Since 2021, FSE and fans across Europe have stood firm against a breakaway super league time and time again, and repeatedly called for the greater protection of our game.

“Our clubs, our competitions and our local communities need protection. We will examine the ruling’s wider implications and comment further in due course.

“Whatever comes next, the super league remains an ill-conceived project that endangers the future of European football. FSE, our members, and fans across Europe will continue to fight it.”

In the UK, a Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: “The attempt to create a breakaway competition was a defining moment in English football and was universally condemned by fans, clubs and the Government.

“We took decisive action at the time by triggering the fan-led review of football governance, which called for the creation of a new independent regulator for English football.

“We will shortly be bringing forward legislation that makes this a reality, and will stop clubs from joining any similar breakaway competitions in the future.”

The European Club Association said “the world of football moved on from the Super League years ago and progressive reforms will continue” and that “the judgment in no way whatsoever supports or endorses any form of Super League project”.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez insists football clubs will be the “masters of their destiny” as it was deemed UEFA rules blocking the formation of the European Super League contravened EU law.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice had been asked to decide whether UEFA and FIFA acted against competition law by blocking the formation of a breakaway Super League in 2021 and seeking to sanction the clubs involved.

The court ruled on Thursday that the governing bodies’ rules granting prior approval for new competitions are contrary to EU law and Perez, who has remained an avid supporter of a European Super League, said “law, reason and freedom” have prevailed after the hearing.

“At Real Madrid, we welcome the decision taken by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is responsible for guaranteeing our principles, values and freedoms,” he said in a statement.

“In the coming days we will study the scope of this resolution in detail, but I do anticipate two conclusions of great historical significance.

“Firstly, that European club football is not and will never again be a monopoly. And secondly, that from today the clubs will be the masters of their destiny.

“We, the clubs, see our right to propose and promote European competitions that modernise our sport and attract fans from all over the world fully recognised. In short, today the Europe of freedoms has triumphed again and today so have football and its fans.

“In the face of the pressures we have been under for more than two years, law, reason and freedom prevail today. And that’s why Real Madrid will continue to work for the good of football.”

Despite being long-term rivals on the pitch, Real Madrid and Barcelona have united as advocates of a Super League.

A Barca statement read: “FC Barcelona would like to express its satisfaction with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in which the Super League project proposed by A22 Sports is endorsed.

“As one of the driving forces behind the Super League, FC Barcelona believes the ruling opens the way to a new top-level football competition in Europe by opposing the monopoly over the football world, and wishes to initiate new discussions as to the path that European competitions should take in the future.”

The views of LaLiga’s two biggest clubs were in stark contrast to those of Football Supporters Europe, who maintain any plans to form a Super League continue to “endanger the future” of European football.

Fans across the continent came together to vehemently oppose the Super League’s formation in 2021, with the six Premier League clubs among those to pull out once the negative reaction flooded in.

“FSE notes today’s decision by the CJEU and wants to reiterate that there is no place in European football for a breakaway super league,” a statement read.

“Since 2021, FSE and fans across Europe have stood firm against a breakaway super league time and time again, and repeatedly called for the greater protection of our game.

“Our clubs, our competitions and our local communities need protection. We will examine the ruling’s wider implications and comment further in due course.

“Whatever comes next, the super league remains an ill-conceived project that endangers the future of European football. FSE, our members, and fans across Europe will continue to fight it.”

In the UK, a Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: “The attempt to create a breakaway competition was a defining moment in English football and was universally condemned by fans, clubs and the Government.

“We took decisive action at the time by triggering the fan-led review of football governance, which called for the creation of a new independent regulator for English football.

“We will shortly be bringing forward legislation that makes this a reality, and will stop clubs from joining any similar breakaway competitions in the future.”

The European Club Association said “the world of football moved on from the Super League years ago and progressive reforms will continue” and that “the judgment in no way whatsoever supports or endorses any form of Super League project”.

International club football faces a potentially fragmented and uncertain future after UEFA and FIFA regulations giving them the right to block new competitions such as the European Super League were ruled to be contrary to EU law.

Here the PA news agency takes a closer look.

What has happened?

The 15 judges comprising the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice had been asked to decide whether UEFA and FIFA’s moves to block the formation of the European Super League in 2021, and then sanction those clubs involved, breached EU competition law.

The court found those rules to be contrary to EU law, and that UEFA and FIFA had abused a dominant position in the market by not having suitable conditions and criteria which could give rival promoters access to the market.

What does this mean?

Let’s start with what it doesn’t mean. The court stresses that the ruling does not necessarily give approval to the European Super League as it was proposed in 2021. What it does appear to do is to give companies like A22 the right to pitch a new football competition and for their application to be judged on criteria which are “transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate”.

Why is this a shock?

Because last December the Advocate General in the case gave a non-binding opinion which found UEFA and FIFA’s rules allowing them prior approval were compatible with EU law. In 80 per cent of cases an AG’s opinion is followed in the final ruling – this case is therefore one of the exceptions. Grand Chamber rulings are binding and cannot be appealed.

What has the early reaction been?

UEFA issued a statement noting the judgement but insisted it did not see it as an endorsement or validation of the Super League project. It is also confident that its authorisation rules for new competitions issued in 2022 are “robust” and comply with European law.

Super League promoter A22 is jubilant, with chief executive Bernd Reichart promising “free viewing” for fans of Super League matches though it is not immediately clear whether he means in stadiums or on TV. Real Madrid, one of the clubs who initially proposed the breakaway, claimed “European football is finally in the hands of the clubs, players and fans. Our destiny belongs to us,” while Barcelona feel the verdict “paves the way for a new elite level football competition in Europe by opposing the monopoly over the football world”.

Does this mean a Super League will happen?

No, it simply says UEFA’s rules governing access to the market were found to be contrary to EU law. A court judgement does not mean a Super League is inevitable – for a start it requires clubs to be willing. Premier League teams are looking forward to sharing in a £6.7bn bonanza in their next domestic television deal, and the new independent regulator is set to impose licensing conditions precluding clubs from joining certain competitions.

And aside from clubs, the first iteration of Super League in 2021 was deeply unpopular with English fans. A22 faces a huge PR battle to convince supporters of the merits of any new competition it proposes.

The prospects of a future European Super League have been boosted after judges said UEFA rules blocking the formation of such a competition were contrary to EU law.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice had been asked to decide whether UEFA and FIFA acted against competition law by blocking the formation of the European Super League in 2021 and then seeking to sanction the clubs involved.

The court has ruled that UEFA and FIFA rules granting prior approval for new competitions are contrary to EU law.

A release issued by the court said such rules were “contrary to competition law and the freedom to provide services”.

A ruling which could shape European football for decades to come is set to be announced later this morning.

European Court of Justice judges will confirm their verdict in the European Super League case.

They have been asked to decide whether UEFA and FIFA acted against competition law by blocking the formation of the European Super League in 2021 and then seeking to sanction the clubs involved.

A non-binding decision delivered by the Advocate General in the case last December found rules allowing UEFA to have prior approval of new competitions were compatible with EU law.

The original 2021 Super League proposal was criticised for its ‘closed’ format, with 15 founder clubs set to have been immune from relegation.

A22, a company formed to assist in the creation of that competition, has now drafted revised plans for a multi-division event featuring 60 to 80 teams, which it insists, crucially, will be open to all.

The company will hope that the judgement forces sports federations like UEFA to use non-discriminatory criteria when assessing new entrants to the market, which would open the door for A22 to try again.

“Tomorrow is UEFA Judgment Day,” an A22 post published on X on Wednesday read.

“After almost 70 years as the sole regulator, gatekeeper and dominant commercial operator of the European football market, UEFA’s monopoly may finally end! We are on the threshold of a new, better era for #EuropeanClubFootball.”

There are many obstacles in A22’s path even if the judgement suggests it does have the right to pitch a new competition to UEFA that can operate under UEFA’s auspices, and for UEFA to give that competition full and fair consideration.

These include the will of clubs, existing agreements between the European Club Association and UEFA, and the fact that the existence of a joint venture between ECA and UEFA on commercial matters at the very least challenges A22’s assertions about a monopoly.

In England, the Premier League has just announced a new domestic television rights deal worth £6.7billion. If there is any risk that the competition A22 proposes that could kill or even harm that golden goose, it is difficult to picture any English club supporting it.

Clubs are also set to be forbidden from joining unapproved competitions as a licensing condition to be set by the English game’s new independent regulator, while the Premier League’s Owners’ Charter agreed in 2022 also contains undertakings not to “engage in the creation of new competition formats outside of the Premier League’s rules”.

That is all before considering another important element – the fans.

Supporters in England took to the streets despite coronavirus restrictions when the initial Super League plans became known, and played a key part in its collapse.

The Grand Chamber judgement’s interpretation of EU law will be passed back to a Madrid commercial court to make a decision, after the Spanish jurisdiction made the referral in 2021.

That court also placed an injunction on sanctions UEFA imposed on the nine clubs who joined Super League but who later withdrew. It remains to be seen whether UEFA will press on with those sanctions, and potentially investigate more serious charges against Real and Barcelona.

A decision in the European Super League case, which could shape the future of continental club football for decades to come, is set to be delivered on Thursday.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice must decide whether UEFA and FIFA acted against competition law by blocking the formation of the European Super League in 2021 and then seeking to sanction the clubs involved.

A non-binding decision delivered by the Advocate General in the case last December found rules allowing UEFA to have prior approval of new competitions were compatible with EU law.

The original 2021 Super League proposal was criticised for its ‘closed’ format, with 15 founder clubs set to have been immune from relegation.

A22, a company formed to assist in the creation of that competition, has now drafted revised plans for a multi-division event featuring 60 to 80 teams, which it insists, crucially, will be open to all.

The company will hope that the judgement forces sports federations like UEFA to use non-discriminatory criteria when assessing new entrants to the market, which would open the door for A22 to try again.

“Tomorrow is UEFA Judgment Day,” an A22 post published on X on Wednesday read.

“After almost 70 years as the sole regulator, gatekeeper and dominant commercial operator of the European football market, UEFA’s monopoly may finally end! We are on the threshold of a new, better era for #EuropeanClubFootball.”

There are many obstacles in A22’s path even if the judgement suggests it does have the right to pitch a new competition to UEFA that can operate under UEFA’s auspices, and for UEFA to give that competition full and fair consideration.

Crucially, is there a will from any club outside of original architects Real Madrid and Barcelona to be involved?

In September, the European Club Association, which features 500 clubs either as members or within its network, signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding with UEFA which runs until July 2030.

Within the MoU is an undertaking that the ECA “ensure that none of its member clubs participate in any competition that is not organised or recognised by UEFA or FIFA”.

A22’s claim that UEFA is the dominant commercial operator is at least challenged by the existence of the Joint Venture between UEFA and ECA which oversees all marketing and commercial matters related to the Champions League and UEFA’s other club competitions. Each organisation has seven members on the JV’s board.

In England, the Premier League has just announced a new domestic television rights deal worth £6.7billion. If there is any risk that the competition A22 proposes that could kill or even harm that golden goose, it is difficult to picture any English club supporting it.

Clubs are also set to be forbidden from joining unapproved competitions as a licensing condition to be set by the English game’s new independent regulator, while the Premier League’s Owners’ Charter agreed in 2022 also contains undertakings not to “engage in the creation of new competition formats outside of the Premier League’s rules”.

In France, it has been reported that an investment into the domestic game from CVC contains a compensation clause should a French club participate in any Super League, while German club ownership structures provide a major obstacle.

That is all before considering another crucial element – the fans.

Supporters in England took to the streets despite coronavirus restrictions when the initial Super League plans became known, and played a key part in its collapse.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund fans have also expressed strong opposition in the past.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a member of Bayern’s supervisory board and a former ECA chairman, issued some scathing comments about Super League in an interview with Italian news outlet Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday.

Asked what would happen if the ECJ authorised the Super League in its entirety, Rummenigge said: “It wouldn’t go far. Thirty years ago the system would have embraced novelty, now it is different.

“The English, Germans and French would never participate. I also believe the Italians and the Spanish (would not), unless there is some president who thinks of going to bed and waking up the next day covered by gold.”

The Grand Chamber judgement’s interpretation of EU law will be passed back to a Madrid commercial court to make a decision, after the Spanish jurisdiction made the referral in 2021.

That court also placed an injunction on sanctions UEFA imposed on the nine clubs who joined Super League but who later withdrew. It remains to be seen whether UEFA will press on with those sanctions, and potentially investigate more serious charges against Real and Barcelona.

The European Super League project may come back with a vengeance if the Premier League punishes leading clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea over alleged breaches of financial rules.

That is the view of finance expert Dan Plumley, who says the threat of Europe's elite clubs forming a breakaway competition is unlikely to ever go away.

Everton dropped into the Premier League's relegation zone after being deducted 10 points for a breach of the league's profit and sustainability rules earlier this month, with an independent commission ruling the Toffees exceeded the competition's maximum loss limit by £19.5million across four seasons between 2018 and 2022.

That penalty – the largest in the competition's history – has been fiercely protested by fans and has led to questions regarding other clubs' financial practices.

The Premier League is investigating City over 115 alleged breaches of the competition's rules, while Chelsea's finances are also being examined following allegations of secret payments made by companies belonging to former owner Roman Abramovich.

Some have suggested those clubs could face huge points deductions or even expulsion if found guilty, but Plumley believes that could push them back into the arms of the Super League.

"I don't think the European Super League will ever go away. I think we've seen that time and time again," Plumley told Stats Perform. 

"It was the closest it's ever been to fruition in 2021, we know the backlash there but it's never off the table. You've seen the wider narrative in the European football landscape, and my take was that it would always come back around. 

"It will be particularly dependent on what the Champions League looks like and the Champions League broadcasting revenues and reformat of that competition. So broadly speaking, I don't think it's off the table."

Both City and Chelsea were involved in the widely despised Super League project, which collapsed under pressure from fans, media and players in 2021.

Plumley is certain the Premier League will be in self-preservation mode when it comes to ruling on cases involving those clubs, saying: "I think the Premier League will be mindful of that. 

"They know there is a lot of power held by those big clubs and their ownership structures and the people that are in that mix. They know that the threat of a Super League is still there. 

"I do think that will be a factor in this, whether we like it or not. It will be there in the background of the considerations. 

"There is that argument, in the same way as in the Champions League, that if the bigger clubs don't get what they want, or feel that they're being too heavily penalised, you can probably bet that a conversation about a European Super League will come back around. 

"I think it would probably have come around anyway, but this kind of stuff might accelerate that. It might make it move quicker, but I don't think it was ever off the table."

A binding ruling in the Super League case will be handed down on December 21.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice will rule that morning on whether or not UEFA and FIFA acted lawfully in blocking the creation of the Super League in April 2021, and in seeking to sanction the clubs involved.

The ruling is a binding interpretation of European Union law, and once handed down the case will then be referred back to the Madrid commercial court that will apply it to the facts of the Super League case.

Bernd Reichart, the chief executive of A22 which is promoting the concept of a new European league, said: “Club football is on the eve of major change. We hope the European Court of Justice will end the monopoly of UEFA and enforce the fundamental freedoms of the European Union in the world of football.

“Fans, clubs, players and the sport of football would be the winners in a market that is open for a competition of ideas and in which clubs could govern and organise a European football competition without fear of threats.”

Former Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has reiterated his support for a European Super League, predicting fans "will move away from football" if the project fails.

Agnelli, who left Juve last November amid an investigation into their financial dealings, has been one of the most vocal supporters of the Super League.

Juventus, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid, remained committed to the controversial project after fierce opposition from fans, media and players caused an attempted 2021 launch to fail.

Speaking to De Telegraaf in his first interview since leaving the Bianconeri, Agnelli laid out his reasons for supporting a breakaway European competition with a league format.

"UEFA's monopoly must be broken to give clubs a financially stable future," he said. "A future in which clubs don't fall if they don't qualify for European competitions once.

"This is a problem for any club. "With such uncertainty, it's not possible as a club to make sustainable and sound long-term decisions.

"This is why I'm in favour of a league system at the top in European football, with more financial and sporting opportunities for every club. It's necessary, because if it remains predictable like now, the public will move away from football."

 

Agnelli said that of the clubs he has spoken with, "many are in favour" of a new-look football landscape.

 

The future of the Super League depends largely on the Court of Justice of the European Union, which will soon rule on whether FIFA and UEFA would be breaching EU competition law by sanctioning clubs for taking part in breakaway tournaments.

With the competition's supporters awaiting that judgement, Agnelli says the predictable nature of many domestic competitions necessitates change.

He said: "Whether it eventually catches on will partly depend on the European Court of Justice.

"Why didn't I fight for change in UEFA from within? Internally it was a war that I failed to win. Even knowing that the current system does not offer a future to Ajax, Anderlecht, Celtic, Benfica, Panathinaikos and Red Star Belgrade and many others."

He added: "Apart from the lack of financial stability, the winners of many championships, national and international, are practically known in advance. Especially thanks to the income that clubs get from the transfer market.

"England lead the way in this respect, and you can see how sumptuously the Premier League is represented in the final stages of European cup tournaments, with Spain close behind and some clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

"But in a sporting competition it is important that every participant has the chance to win. So also Ajax, Feyenoord and Juventus.

 

"As a football fan, I strongly support such an international competition, unlike the international federations. As rulers, they want to keep everything as it is. They oppose any change. That's why the system isn't future-proof."

It remains to be seen whether Agnelli could have any personal involvement in a Super League – though the 47-year-old has not ruled out a return to Juventus.

He was suspended from football for two years by the Italian FA (FIGC) in January after the investigation into the Turin club's finances.

Toni Kroos has hit out at UEFA and believes it is only a matter of time before a European Super League is launched.

New plans for a continental Super League including up to 80 teams were laid out this month.

There would be at least 14 matches per season for the clubs involved in a multi-division format, with no permanent members and teams still participating in their domestic leagues.

A proposed breakaway European Super League collapsed in April 2021 soon after plans were announced, but Real Madrid midfielder Kroos is in no doubt a new competition will go ahead.

The former Germany international said on his podcast Einfach mal Luppen: "I think we will see the Super League. And I believe so for several reasons. The idea of the Super League has changed and deserves to be heard.

"If you look carefully from both angles, you will see that UEFA is by no means a great Samaritan for football fans and that the Super League has no plans, at least in the second attempt, to exclude any team, because there will be no permanent founding members.

"It is a sports competition, an open tournament, but managed by the clubs and not by UEFA, because these clubs believe that they do not need UEFA for that. I think this deserves at least one chance.

"Although we have already talked about the loss of passion for football, I believe that the Super League has the opportunity to reverse that situation. Let there be more enthusiasm and emotion for the games that we will be able to see.

"Because in the end, let's not fool ourselves, many people always say: 'Who wants to see Real Madrid against Manchester City every week?' But have you gotten tired of watching [Roger] Federer against [Rafael] Nadal over and over again? I don't. That’s my opinion,"

Kroos suggested Europe's governing body is guilty of double standards.

He added: "I think we have only heard the UEFA side, and too often in my opinion. Why is it okay for UEFA to introduce a Nations League that no one needs?

"Suddenly no one asks them about it. That's why I think it's incredibly important to listen to other proposals like the Super League. I get the feeling that we are no longer being listened to."

Javier Tebas slammed the "ignorance" of The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales for living "in another world" in regards to the proposed European Super League.

Outspoken LaLiga boss Tebas has been a vociferous critic of the new Super League plans, a competition featuring 60 to 80 teams spread across several divisions, which guarantees clubs 14 games per season.

The new Super League proposals came almost two years after 12 clubs, including LaLiga giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, attempted to form a breakaway competition.

Rubiales seemingly infuriated Tebas by suggesting to the Europa Press the latter was the "best ambassador for the European Super League".

Tebas wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: "The president of the RFEF lives in another world, and shows his ignorance in economic data, television and such.

"By the way, in UEFA, they do not think the same as he does in his statement."

Tebas refuted claims Spanish football will be unable to compete with England's Premier League, referencing a "sustainable" model LaLiga clubs are operating under.

"LaLiga does not compete with the [Premier] League for a commercial issue," Tebas added. "It is a losing league. It is losing billions of pounds a year and that is how it is financing its transfers. 

"Our big clubs with television rights are totally competitive with the English, where they are not with losses. And here we have decided on a sustainable football that we are not going to lose.

"TV audiences go up, stadiums are filled, losses are controlled, but Rubiales' analysis is that LaLiga should follow the example of competitions ruined by the RFEF and a streamers event [the Gerard Pique-backed Kings League], in which they disguise themselves as clowns. I don't get that out of my amazement.

"We are always open to listening and learning, but if the one who tries to give us lessons is a ruinous manager who also lies, then you have to go to the data."

The RFEF swiftly responded to Tebas' series of messages, insisting the governing body has developing Spanish football at the forefront of its aims.

"We make proposals with respect and education," the RFEF posted on Twitter. 

"We denounce the falsehoods that, no matter how much the president of the League repeats them, are not true. We remain open to collaborating to make Spanish football better."

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