Barcelona and other European Super League Founders to face massive fines in the upcoming days.
On the 18th of April, 12 so-called ‘Elite clubs’ announced the formation of a European Super League. Despite UEFA, Europe’s apex football governing body, threatening massive sanctions, the clubs went ahead apparently unbothered. Chairman Perez even went to the limit when he confidently declared that UEFA would be in no position to impose such sanctions.
However, things have changed in the past few days. After mass rage and protests among the fans, 6 English clubs dropped out officially the very next day. And when managers and players took a strong stand against the competition, everyone dropped out. The league was ‘put on hold’ ‘awaiting further evaluation.’ Everyone, except Barcelona and Real Madrid.
And this has incited debates and controversies all over the footballing world. According to Vozpopuli, no club, that has already signed up for the competition, can back out. In case they did, they would have to pay a fine of 360 million Euros to the league organizers.
In this case, the only ones remaining in the Super League are Real Madrid and Barcelona. Ironically these two are the bitterest of rivals.
Prize Money For Signing Up In the First Place
The European Super League guaranteed prize money of 350 million Euros simply for participating. Expectedly, the clubs have to pay the same fine once they back out. The prize money was the first major point of criticism that the ESL drew from all quarters.
The particular figure was reached in an agreement to a 3.5 billion Euros investment by the American bank, J.P Morgan. This clause is apparently included in the contracts that the leaders of the 12 outfits had signed.
Fueled simply by greed, the ESL lead to a widespread backlash of football fans all over the world. And after the rather embarrassing collapse of the competition, their primary investor has issued an official statement. J.P Morgan’s statement admits defeat and confirms that the Bank has pulled out of the ESL as well. However, chairman Florentino Perez seems unperturbed. And he still insists on the payment of fines.
Barcelona still has not officially quit the Super League
This facet is a probable explanation of why Barcelona are still yet to quit officially. Sources close to the club have revealed that the project will “remain alive as long as these clubs, which are united by a contract, do not pay the penalty.”
President Joan Laporta however seems to be playing a different board game. Reports say that he had included an option in the contract that enabled Barca to pull out without paying the penalty if the club members (socios) vote against the club’s participation in the ESL.
Laporta issued an official statement saying that the next step depends on the socios. “We had a position of prudence. It is a necessity. But the socios will have the last word,” said Laporta. Now mired in a debt of 1 billion Euros, Barca cannot move either way. If they do participate in the ESL, UEFA will impose sanctions on them. If they pull out without the socios’ consent, they will be further indebted. The next course of action will something that will be very interesting to follow.