Associations Hold ‘Elitist League’ Accountable but Will Fines and Bans be Enough?

Having headed off the immediate threat of the European Super League all attention has since been concentrated on making sure that there is no recurrence and coming to some sort of accommodation with the rebels. This would involve the right level of blame and perceived punishment to satisfy pride on either side. The Premier League and UEFA were aware that it would make sense for any punitive levies to be couched as being seen as for the good of the game rather than just being seen as spiteful retribution.


£22 million was imposed on the six big english clubs between them, not exactly a massive punishment taking into account the players earnings, revenue and status of the clubs involved. Indeed it was classed by the powers that be as a gesture of goodwill rather than punishment. The League was aware that those six clubs exercise enormous power in the game particularly when it comes to promoting the game world wide, benefits due to the six would have been massive as founder clubs, including a not insubstantial signing on fee of £250 million. Other sanctions were the threat of a fine of £25 million and a 30 point deduction, should any club venture to repeat the exercise, it is important to note that none of the fines would find its way into UEFA coffers but rather be distributed across grassroots and community schemes. The perceived leniency of the sanctions were also a reflection of the contrition shown by the clubs and the speed in which they backed out.

Admitting Defeat

The joint statement emphasised the rebels acceptance of the blame for what happened and a willingness to make amends For their part the clubs were overwhelmed by the level of animosity against them, owners were rocked by their fans’ reaction and came to the conclusion that they were better off out of the ESL at least for the time being. They would of course have one eye on the fate of the other three clubs and their progress in the courts. The Premier League’s rapprochement with the rebels is important because it comes at the same time as UEFA shapes up to consider legal action. The Premier League and Football Association are both committed to avoiding a repetition and have tightened their rulebooks, while the Government are, under the auspices of a review, considering all aspects of the game, including restrictive practices are avoided.

Three Rebels

Having announced an agreement with the Premier League rebels, UEFA turned its attention to the remaining three dissenting clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus. They already had drawn up plans to ban them from the Champions League for next season but were stopped in their tracks by the clubs taking UEFA to court to get the threat of action lifted. UEFA has since placed the threat of action on hold indefinitely. The real drawback of the Super League is that it is by invitation only which in reality is limited to wealthy star studded teams that can command hefty TV and advertising revenues