UEFA says Super League rival is textbook cartel | Soccer News

LUXEMBOURG: UEFA criticized the European breakaway on Monday Super League with its group of elite clubs as a classic example of a cartel, as European football’s governing body sought to defend its power and lucrative media rights in a hearing before Europe’s highest court.
The row between UEFA, world football organization FIFA and the European Super League is being closely watched by other sports, as well as clubs and players eyeing big money deals from rebel bodies.
The European Super League folded less than 48 hours after it was announced last year, after an outcry from fans, governments and players forced Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, chelseaTottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid are withdrawing.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, however, remain inactive. The Super League then sued UEFA and FIFA in a Spanish court which then sought advice from the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
The notion of a closed league of wealthy clubs is “a classic example of a cartel”, UEFA lawyer Donald Slater told the CJEU’s 15-judge panel.
He said allowing the Super League would have led to the emergence of other closed leagues and the collapse of the existing system of open competitions.
He said UEFA had used its 6.5% share of the revenue and amounted to 190 million euros ($192 million) this year mainly to promote football in Europe.
UEFA’s conflict of interest arising from its regulatory role and commercial activities means it will never allow a competitor, Super League lawyer Miguel Odriozola told the court.
“For many decades, UEFA has ruled with an iron fist and repelled any club that threatens its monopoly. We have taken it upon ourselves to speak out against UEFA’s practices,” he said.
The European Commission and the 27 EU countries plus Iceland and Norway supported UEFA and FIFA. The court will rule next year. The case is C333/21 European Superleague Company.

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