While today’s news is the start of Euro 2020, the repercussions of the biggest crisis in the continent’s club scene are not over.
Almost two months after 12 elite clubs launched — and then quickly abandoned — a breakaway Super League that would have swept away the century-old structures that underpin the sport, those foundations remain uncertain.
European soccer’s governing body said this week that it has suspended a disciplinary investigation against the three most intransigent rebel clubs: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus. UEFA’s decision came after it finally received an injunction issued by a Madrid court the day after Super League’s launch on April 18.
The injunction — which was also sent to global governing body FIFA — forbids any disciplinary action to be taken against the Super League clubs. UEFA had threatened to ban the three holdouts from next season’s Champions League unless they renounced the failed plan, but failure to comply with the court order could have led to civil or criminal action against UEFA and its senior officials.
UEFA said it would now try to overturn the measures issued by the Madrid court before restarting its disciplinary action. “I just want to say that justice is sometimes slow, but it always arrives,” UEFA’s president, Aleksandar Ceferin, told the Italian broadcaster Rai ahead of Friday’s Euro 2020 opener in Rome.
Meanwhile, the six English clubs who had joined the Super League on Thursday came to an agreement with the Premier League for their role. The teams — Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham — agreed to pay a collective 22 million pounds ($31.1 million) to resolve the matter.
The league also announced that any team involved in a future breakaway attempt faced a $35 million fine and a 30-point deduction in the league standings.