The oral hearing of the Super League case will be on March 14

The oral hearing by the so-called Superliga case will take place on March 14as stated by the Commercial Court number 17 of Madrid after the resolution of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last December.

The hearing is expected to take place in a single session in the court that processes the procedure, to which it returns after the CJEU considered that the FIFA and UEFA regulations that make any new competition project subject to prior authorization, such as the Super League, violate Union Law, but did not comment on the specific project of this competition.

The European Court only presented its conclusions on general questions about the rules of both organizations, since that is what was raised by the Commercial Court number 17 of Madrid, which is now taking up the case.

According to the ruling of the CJEU, which is binding on the Spanish court, the UEFA and FIFA abused their dominant position, since its rules that make the creation of a new competition subject to its authorization “are not subject to any criteria that guarantee its transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate nature.”

“The power to determine under what conditions potentially competing companies may enter the market; this power, taking into account the risk of conflict of interest it generates, must be accompanied by criteria that ensure its transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate nature” , he claimed.

For the court, “the powers of FIFA and UEFA are not subject to any criteria of this nature”, so “they are abusing their dominant position”, and “their rules relating to the exploitation of broadcasting rights may harm European football clubs, all companies operating in the media markets and, finally, consumers and television viewers, by preventing them from benefiting from potentially innovative or interesting new competitions.

However, he specified that it is up to the Commercial Court No. 17 of Madrid “to check whether these regulations can, however, benefit the different interest groups in football, for example, through a solidarity redistribution of the income generated by those rights”.

The main promoter of the project, Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid, showed a “enormous satisfaction” after learning of the ruling and defended that “football will never again be a monopoly”, At the same time, he noted that he conceives the Super League as “a modern project fully compatible with national competitions and based on sporting merit.”

The president of FC Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, assessed that the ruling “proves the Catalan club right” and “opens a historic opportunity” to reformulate the structure of European football.

In the opposite direction, UEFA assured that the sentence did not mean “an endorsement or validation of the so-called Super League” and showed its confidence “in the robustness of its new rules and, specifically, that they comply with all relevant European laws and regulations.”

In addition, from FIFA, UEFA, the footballers’ union FIFPRO Europe, the Spanish LaLiga and the European associations of Clubs (ECA), Leagues (EPFL) and Amateurs (FSE) assured that “there is no place for any type of Super League in Europe” and that “sports merit is what counts.”

Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, declared that “There will be no Super League in the short, medium or long term, because legally it is not possible”, and assured that if Real Madrid and Barcelona want to have their own competition they can start it “tomorrow, but outside of the FIFA environment and without the income from the Champions League.”

The announcement of the CJEU ruling was one more step in a process that began on April 21, 2021, when A22 Sports Management SL and European Super League Company SL – promoters of the Supeliga – They denounced UEFA and FIFA for abuse of a dominant position, by threatening the promoting clubs with sanctions.

The case reached the Luxembourg court a month later, when the then owner of the Madrid player, Manuel Ruiz de Lara, sent him a preliminary ruling to rule on this possible position of abuse in accordance with Union regulations. For this reason, the CJEU did not decide the case, as it made clear in its ruling yesterday, since only general questions regarding UEFA and FIFA regulations had been raised.

A22 Sports Management celebrated the TJU ruling as a victory, which can change football “to be free” and that “clubs can defend their destiny”, in the words of its CEO, Bernd Reichart, who once again presented a new format , which includes women’s football, with 64 participants divided into three groups, a champion in each of them and promotions and relegations to make it an “open competition.”

On the other hand, In June 2022, UEFA modified its regulations for the pre-authorization of new international club competitions, with the aim of protecting the European sports model and having objective, transparent and non-discriminatory authorization rules and sanctions, as dictated by the CJEU.

It establishes administrative and financial criteria, relative to aspects of how solidarity will be distributed and the international calendar; sporting and technical criteria, which refer to the clubs and the classification model, the regulations and the match calendar and criteria of sporting merit.

The latter require confirmation that the competition must comply with the principles of openness and sporting merit and that it does not affect the proper functioning of domestic club competitions, nor UEFA club competitions.

It requires the new competition to request authorization twelve months before the proposed start and gives UEFA a period of 12 months to resolve. Any failure to comply with these rules entails sanctions, which in their maximum degree can reach exclusion.

This regulatory change adopted It will be one of the arguments that UEFA will present in its defense and against the Super League in the oral hearing.

Also the report from LaLiga, the only league involved in the procedure, on the damages that the Super League would cause, considering it “a selfish and egotistical proposal, designed to further enrich the already super-rich and which implies the disappearance of hundreds of clubs and of tens of thousands of jobs in all European countries.

2024-01-17 14:17:41
#oral #hearing #Super #League #case #March


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