The Premier League has welcomed a declaration from the European Union Court of Justice (CJEU) that attempts to sanction European Super League clubs would be legal.
On Thursday, CJEU advocate general Athanasios Rantos dealt a blow to the Super League’s supporters – including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – stating UEFA and FIFA would be acting lawfully by preventing clubs from participating in third-party competitions.
With a judgement expected in the new year, Rantos was responding to a request by a Madrid court for a ruling on whether the governing bodies could take action in accordance with competition law and fundamental freedoms.
Supporters of the Super League had argued sanctions would be incompatible with EU competition law.
But UEFA described Rantos’ opinion as “an encouraging step towards preserving the existing dynamic and democratic governance structure of the European football pyramid.”
Both FIFA and the European Club Association – of which Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are no longer members – have also welcomed the message.
The Premier League echoed those thoughts in a statement on Thursday, outlining its continued support for open, merit-based access to European competitions.
The Premier League welcomes the opinion issued today by the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case involving the ‘European Superleague Company’, FIFA and UEFA.
— Premier League Communications (@PLComms)
“We share the advocate general’s clear view that open access is fundamental to European club football,” the statement read.
“Further to today’s opinion, the Premier League reiterates its commitment to the principles underpinning the current balance of domestic and European competitions including open access, annual merit-based qualification from domestic leagues for European club competitions, weekends reserved for domestic football and substantial solidarity funding for football development.
“The fans’ voice regarding the essential nature of sporting integrity has been heard.
“Above all, the focus of Premier League clubs is on improving the collective strength and competitiveness of the league in the best interests of the wider game.
“The Premier League will continue to engage in an open dialogue, with all relevant stakeholders, about how best to protect the complementary balance between domestic and European club football.”
Each of the six English clubs involved in the Super League’s ill-fated launch last year withdrew their support amid fierce opposition from supporters, players and the media.