Having collapsed in 2021, the much-maligned European Super League is back in the headlines after it was deemed by the European Court of Justice that UEFA and FIFA broke competition law by blocking the breakaway project.
The future of football as we know it was thrown into uncertainty two and a half years ago when plans were announced to create a new competition comprising Europe’s top teams.
Fans were quick to condemn the proposal and nine clubs – including Liverpool – backtracked on their decision to join the league within 24 hours of revealing their intentions.
FIFA and UEFA blocked the formation of the Super League and sanctioned clubs who had expressed their wish to take part, but a company formed to facilitate the start-up of the league, A22, later challenged the governing bodies’ right to do so.
It has now been confirmed that both FIFA and UEFA went against competition law to take these measures, sparking fears that club owners may feel encouraged to join the project once again.
Liverpool quickly reversed their plans to join the league following fan protests and threats of further punishment, with principal owner John W. Henry issuing an apology for the “disruption” caused by the situation shortly after.
Since then, the club’s stance on any future attempts to reignite the project has remained the same, with a statement sent to the Guardian back in 2021 reading:
“Our involvement in the proposed ESL plans has been discontinued. We are absolutely committed to following that through and there should be no ambiguity to suggest otherwise.
“We are acting on the best legal advice and approach to appropriately end our involvement.”
This Is Anfield understands that, unlike Man United, Liverpool will not be releasing a statement regarding the latest developments in the Super League saga.
However, their position remains unchanged, with the club having no intention to join up in any further attempts at a breakaway.
Supporters may naturally read the latest developments and fear the worst, but it appears that there are no intentions to revitalise the plans that were met with widespread backlash back in April 2021.
The European Super League was intended to replace the current UEFA Champions League, which is also set for its most significant format makeover since group stages were introduced in 1991.
Europe’s elite club competition will now feature a Swiss format in which 36 teams will be arranged into four pots of nine, with the top eight overall teams going straight into the last 16 while teams ranked between nine and 24 will face an additional playoff round.