European Super League plan not a coup but a 'cry of alarm', says Andrea Agnelli

UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the three remaining Super League club last month, prompting them to issue joint statements saying it would not bow down to pressure from the governing body.

Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli says breakaway Super League was not a coup but a way to save the football industry.   -  REUTERS

The plan to create a breakaway Super League was not a coup but a way to save the football industry, which has been dramatically hit by the coronavirus pandemic, European Super League founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said on Friday.

"The Super League is not a coup, but a desperate cry of alarm for a system that, knowingly or not, is heading towards insolvency," Agnelli said at a news conference organised to bid farewell to Juve's outgoing sporting director Fabio Paratici.

"For years I have tried to change European competitions from the inside, because the signs of crisis were evident even before the pandemic," Agnelli added.

Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the last ones standing of the 12 club that signed up to the breakaway project in April, only for it to unravel when all six English sides plus Inter Milan, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid withdrew.

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Unlike in the Champions League, where team has to qualify through the domestic league, the founding Super League team guaranteed itself a place in the new competition every year.

The Super League argued it would boost revenue for top club and allow it to distribute more money to the rest of the game.

However, the sport’s governing bodies, other team and fan organisations countered that it would increase the power and wealth of the elite club and the partially closed structure of the league went against European football's long-standing model.

UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the three remaining Super League club last month, prompting them to issue joint statements saying it would not bow down to pressure from the governing body.

"It is not with this type of behaviour that football is reformed in the face of this crisis. Fortunately, I know that not everyone in UEFA feels the same way. The desire for dialogue, however, remains unchanged," Agnelli said.

"Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid are determined to achieve a complete reform of the competitions, and above all, in the interest of the club that show us fear for this situation."

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