Barcelona president Joan Laporta has described the Super League as a “necessity” while declaring that he remains fully behind the plans for the controversial breakaway.
The announcement of a new competition including 12 of the richest clubs in European football last Sunday was met with fierce opposition from supporters and players alike, leading to many of the founding members performing a swift U-turn.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid have all withdrawn, but Barca are one of four founding clubs still on board, and Laporta is not yet ready to give up on the initiative.
What’s been said?
“We had a position and we still have one and we will explain,” The Barca president told TV3. “The position is one of caution but it [Super League] is a necessity. On the other hand as it should be, our members will have the last word on it.
“It’s absolutely necessary that the big clubs, given that we generate a lot of revenue, we want to have the capacity to have our say on the sharing process. And also, we believe that it’s important that this is accompanied by an attractive competition based on sporting merit.”
Laporta added: “We are the defenders of maintaining local leagues and therefore, we are always open to dialogue with UEFA. That is the premise. Everyone wants to make football better and have the necessary resources to make it a great spectacle.
“Because if the big clubs don’t have these resources, football will be damaged. There will be institutional harmony and a willingness to think about all this.
“There was a series of pressure which made some clubs pull out or value it in a different way, but the fact is that the proposal still exists but more resources are needed given that we have important investment, we paid important salaries and if we want football to be a spectacle through sporting merits, whoever wants this level of quality to be maintained must take into account what we are proposing.”
What have La Liga said?
La Liga president Javier Tebas doesn’t share Laporta’s opinion, however, and has insisted that is now impossible for the Super League to go ahead in light of this week’s mass exodus and the refusal of clubs from Germany to be involved in the project.
He told the media on Thursday: “I think the Super League as we know it is dead. Without the German and English teams, it is dead. It would be like a bi-national project. Let’s be realistic, it is dead.”
Asked if Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid could face punishment for their involvement in the Super League, Tebas responded: “Let’s not rush in terms of sanctions
“We are not looking to apply any sanctions for the time being. They have not abandoned La Liga. It was a proposal that hasn’t been fruitful.”
Which other clubs are still signed up to the Super League?
Barca and Real Madrid are the only two clubs that have yet to officially reveal their hand with regards to going ahead with the Super League amid the intense backlash from supporters and experts across the football community.
Juventus and Milan are also still technically signed up, but both Italian clubs have released statements acknowledging that the competition cannot go ahead in its current form.
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