Since the collapse of the enormously reviled European Super League, there have been rumblings about potential fines, bans from UEFA competitions, and other sanctions for the clubs that were involved.
Some of the powers that be have spoken of putting the ESL nonsense behind them and moving forward, rather than dwelling on how to punish those who were involved. However, most assumed the breakaway clubs would have to face repercussions of some sort, likely from their domestic Football Association and from UEFA.
The nine clubs who have backed out of the ESL (Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Atlético Madrid) have all agreed to rejoin the fold, and UEFA has now announced what will be required to do so. Here are a few of the highlights.
The requirements are heavy on statements and actions that will force the nine clubs to fully recommit to being a part of UEFA’s club competition system, including rejoining the European Club Association.
While the legal battle over the fact they seemingly signed contracts to join the SL in the first place could be messy, the clubs will have to do everything in their power to terminate any and all involvement in the Super League.
The nine clubs will all contribute to a 15 million Euro fund to benefit youth and grassroots football across Europe.
Starting in 2023-24, the nine clubs will be subject to the withholding of 5% of the revenues they are due to receive for their participation in UEFA club competitions for one season.
Finally, as a way to deter consideration of joining breakaway competitions in the future, the clubs have all agreed to have fines imposed if they seek to play in an unauthorized competition (€100 million) or if they breach any other commitment they have entered into in the Club Commitment Declaration (€50 million).
All told, the nine clubs who have backed out and recommitted to UEFA have gotten off fairly light, especially when ideas like a two-year European ban and hefty fines were being floated around. The reason for this was clear in UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin’s statement.
“I said at the UEFA Congress two weeks ago that it takes a strong organisation to admit making a mistake especially in these days of trial by social media. These clubs have done just that.
In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, UEFA wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit.
The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA. They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe, including the UK.
These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football. The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called ‘Super League’ and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently.”
Čeferin is referring to Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus, who have all refused to give up on their hopes of creating a Super League, and are even threatening to pursue all available legal avenues to prevent the nine from backing out.
It remains to be seen if and when they will give up on the foolish venture, but it sounds as though UEFA will not go nearly as easy on them as they have on the nine who admitted their mistake.