Laporta predicts revamped Super League will launch without Premier League clubs in 2025

By Sports Desk January 05, 2023

Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes a revamped version of the European Super League could launch as soon as 2025, without any Premier League clubs taking part.

Barca, along with Real Madrid and Juventus, remained committed to the Super League project in the aftermath of a failed launch in April 2021, though the other nine founding clubs quickly withdrew their support.

In October, it was revealed that plans were afoot to revive the competition, with A22 Sports Management chief executive Bernd Reichart promising an "open format" as he sought support for the proposal.

UEFA called the Super League's supporters "greedy" after meeting with Reichart the following month, while European Union Court of Justice [CJUE] advocate general Athanasios Rantos dealt a blow to the proposed competition by stating UEFA and FIFA could lawfully sanction participating clubs. 

However, Laporta remains optimistic regarding the Super League project, with the remaining clubs hopeful the CJUE will rule any UEFA sanctions are incompatible with EU competition law.

"In March or April we will have the CJUE ruling. It will be a very important sentence and I think it will benefit the clubs," Laporta told Cadena SER on Thursday.

"The Super League will be an open competition. I would not have entered this project if the competition was not open. 

"We want the governance to belong to the clubs. I hope that UEFA will occupy one more chair at the governance table. If the resolution is favourable, I think the Super League will be a reality in 2025."

All six of the Premier League clubs originally involved in the Super League – Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool – withdrew their support following a fierce public and media backlash to the plans in 2021.

Laporta does not expect any English sides to participate in the first edition of any future Super League, though he believes they will eventually join the competition if it succeeds.

"We will have a European competition that competes with the Premier League," he said. "I believe that the English teams will not enter at first. 

"We'd love for them to come in, but my opinion is that initially, they won't. I believe that everything will end with a merger later."

One feature of Laporta's tenure as Barca president has been his poor relationship with LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who he believes is not doing enough to ensure Spanish clubs can compete with their English counterparts.

"Our personal relationship has never been bad, but it has been tense. Tebas is a complicated person," he said. "He should be more concerned with recovering subscribers to football on television, increasing the income of Spanish football.

"We are defenders of financial control, but if you make a comparison between the Premier and the Spanish league... it is up to us to make them look at it."

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