Gazidis’ claims mean Super League battle is not over

by | Sep 24, 2021 12:26

Although Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the only clubs still formally involved in the Super League, Ivan Gazidis’ recent claims suggest the battle over a new European competition is not over.

This past April, 12 elite European clubs, including Juventus, Inter and Milan, announced the European Super League, a new competition involving 20 of the best clubs of the Old Continent.

A “closed shop”, as many called it, with no promotions or relegations, which wasn’t appreciated by the majority of football fans in Europe.

Pushed by their supporters’ discontent and after holding talks with UEFA, six Premier League clubs withdrew from the competition after just 48 hours, followed by Inter, Milan and Atletico Madrid.

They were later reintroduced in the ECA and signed an agreement to prevent them from creating a new tournament without UEFA’s consent.

During his interview with Sette Magazine, Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis admitted that the Super League wasn’t a good idea but warned UEFA that the ‘question of governance is fundamental.’

Gazidis on Milan, Arsenal, FFP and ‘wrong’ Super League project

“When you are in trouble, you may also lose clarity. The problems have remained and must be faced together, clubs, UEFA and FIFA because the crisis is not finished and it is no time for anyone to declare victory,” Gazidis warned.

“The question of governance is fundamental, we must remember that everything is based on clubs.

“Milan will have to answer a series of questions about our financial health. So Financial Fair Play still exists.

“[In 2019], we wanted a sustainable football project and we were punished with a year’s suspension from international competitions,” he continued.

“I accept that, but the rules must be the same for everyone. Are they? You have to ask UEFA, its credibility is at stake.”

The ‘governance issue’ is a problem raised several times by Real Madrid, Juventus, and Barcelona, the only three clubs that, formally, are still part of the Super League.

Those top clubs would want to create their own competition without the involvement of another institution, such as UEFA or FIFA.

“Clubs are the only ones facing economic risks. I couldn’t make them [UEFA] understand how high the financial risk is for clubs that generate value for all football stakeholders. Or maybe they never wanted to understand it, we’ll try to reach an agreement with FIFA and UEFA,” Agnelli said in April.

“UEFA manages and sells our rights without facing any economic risk and is a rival of us. FIFA and UEFA make big profits with our players, but they didn’t help us in times of crisis. They must choose if they want to be regulators or commercial promoters.”

Although, on paper, most of the top European clubs have withdrawn from the competition leaving Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid alone, economic problems still exist and the issue of how to solve them is still on the table.

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