European Super League chiefs have succeeded in restoring an injunction preventing UEFA and FIFA from punishing clubs wishing to be involved in the controversial project.

Madrid's Audiencia Provincial Civil court issued a decision on Tuesday that was welcomed by organisers of the planned new competition.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have been the only clubs who have not backed away from the Super League, since its launch in April 2021 sparked a backlash and led nine of the 12 teams involved to pull out.

World governing body FIFA and European counterpart UEFA had warned players and clubs taking part in the breakaway league would be banned from their competitions, which include the World Cup and European Championship.

In December, an opinion published by the European Union's Court of Justice (CJEU) said UEFA and FIFA would be entitled to freeze out a European Super League and its competing teams.

That was in response to a request by the Commercial Court in Madrid to rule on whether FIFA and UEFA would have the right to take action in accordance with competition law and fundamental freedoms.

European Super League chiefs argued such actions should be regarded as anti-competitive and incompatible with EU competition law. The CJEU opinion was not a binding ruling, which is due to follow in the coming months, and now the sport's ruling bodies have been told they should not be using powers to intervene in the meantime.

The Madrid court said on Tuesday: "The problem is that the risk that exists of the arbitrary use by FIFA and UEFA of its disciplinary power does not adhere to the repercussion of its effects within the competitions they manage, but it can also be used, as it is clear that it has been threatened with doing so, to discourage any purpose of the operators of the market who are tempted to build relationships with the competitor."

It added: "The eventual justification of the conduct of FIFA and UEFA as an attempt to protect the European sports model we consider it, prima facie, as a flimsy excuse."

There is no guarantee clubs will be tempted back to the European Super League, given supporters of many teams were so strongly opposed, but Tuesday's ruling may encourage more to show an interest.

Six clubs from the Premier League and three each from LaLiga and Serie A initially agreed to join the European Super League, prior to public reaction leading to a rethink.

A22 Sports Management was set up to manage the European Super League project, and its CEO Bernd Reichart welcomed the latest development, saying it would allow his business "to freely continue the project of creating a new and exciting European football competition".

Reichart added: "It confirms that UEFA's monopoly position cannot be used to pressure or threaten clubs, players or companies willing to innovate and invigorate competition in professional football.

"We will therefore continue our dialogue with football stakeholders in a new and more appropriate environment, free from threats and other obstructive steps taken by UEFA and other bodies."

Ex-Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli used a farewell speech to reiterate his belief in a European Super League.

Agnelli, along with Pavel Nedved and the rest of Juve's board, resigned last year amid an investigation into alleged tax fraud.

Juve have denied the allegations, on the back of the club registering a record loss of €254.3million for 2021-22. 

Agnelli, who had held his position since 2010, bowed out officially on Wednesday, though in an address to Juve's shareholders, insisted he is still firmly backing the plan for a Super League.

Along with his counterparts at Real Madrid and Barcelona, Agnelli has stood by the proposals made in April 2021, and is showing no sign of movement on that front.

"My job has always been to understand and guide the strategic direction of society," he said. "When we talk about football, we boil it down to the action on the pitch, but football is part of the entertainment industry.

"When we talk about the sports industry, we are talking about a €140 billion industry of which football is worth a large slice.

"We have seen economic transactions, and we have seen the entry of funds with percentage transfers from companies and leagues.

"When I was president of the ECA [European Clubs Association] and of the UEFA executive committee, the analysis was evident. There was no club sustainability, a vertical polarisation of interest towards only two leagues, access to very risky financial instruments and fan disaffection.

"The proposal at the time was the creation of a league system with access different from the classic ones. This proposal was made in 2019.

"If I personally wanted to maintain a privileged situation, I would not have taken the decisions of April 2021.

"I think European football needs a new system, otherwise it risks a decrease in favour of a single dominant league, i.e. the Premier League, marginalising all the others.

"The hope is that the European Court of Justice recognises professional sport as an industry, since the turnover of football is €55 billion. I thank Real Madrid and Barcelona who, together with Juventus, had the courage to face the threats from UEFA."

Agnelli confirmed he will take a step back from "listed companies" altogether, and instead serve as an advisor.

Juve great Nedved, who served as vice-president, said: "Every day I was able to learn something, I had the opportunity to make my contribution, I became vice-president, a job made up of relationships, speeches, words, but also of passion.

"Thanks to you [Agnelli]... we have discussed and argued, but we have strengthened our relationship. I know how much you love Juventus, how much you sacrificed yourself, and it was an honour to work alongside you."

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."

The European Super League remains "very much alive" despite the latest legal setback, claims the chief executive of the company behind the breakaway.

Bernd Reichart, the CEO of A22 Sports Management, was speaking at an economic forum event in Spain attended by Real Madrid and Barcelona presidents Florentino Perez and Joan Laporta.

The two clubs, who along with Juventus are the holdouts of the 2021 attempt, saw an argument that UEFA's governance is an illegal monopoly on continental football struck down by the European Court of Justice on Thursday.

But Reichart has refuted the idea the competition's hopes of coming to fruition are at an end, pointing out the ruling is non-binding, with a final decision due next year.

"The Super League isn't dead, not at all, it's very much alive," he said. "We'll keep working until the judgement.

"We are still convinced that UEFA can't be everything at once. They organise the competition, they regulate the competition, and at the same time they control access to the market.

The Premier League has welcomed a declaration from the European Union Court of Justice (CJEU) that attempts to sanction European Super League clubs would be legal.

On Thursday, CJEU advocate general Athanasios Rantos dealt a blow to the Super League's supporters – including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – stating UEFA and FIFA would be acting lawfully by preventing clubs from participating in third-party competitions.

With a judgement expected in the new year, Rantos was responding to a request by a Madrid court for a ruling on whether the governing bodies could take action in accordance with competition law and fundamental freedoms.

Supporters of the Super League had argued sanctions would be incompatible with EU competition law.

But UEFA described Rantos' opinion as "an encouraging step towards preserving the existing dynamic and democratic governance structure of the European football pyramid."

Both FIFA and the European Club Association – of which Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are no longer members – have also welcomed the message.

The Premier League echoed those thoughts in a statement on Thursday, outlining its continued support for open, merit-based access to European competitions. 

"We share the advocate general's clear view that open access is fundamental to European club football," the statement read.

"Further to today's opinion, the Premier League reiterates its commitment to the principles underpinning the current balance of domestic and European competitions including open access, annual merit-based qualification from domestic leagues for European club competitions, weekends reserved for domestic football and substantial solidarity funding for football development.

"The fans' voice regarding the essential nature of sporting integrity has been heard.

"Above all, the focus of Premier League clubs is on improving the collective strength and competitiveness of the league in the best interests of the wider game.

"The Premier League will continue to engage in an open dialogue, with all relevant stakeholders, about how best to protect the complementary balance between domestic and European club football."

Each of the six English clubs involved in the Super League's ill-fated launch last year withdrew their support amid fierce opposition from supporters, players and the media.

The powerful European Club Association hailed the latest setback to the European Super League as "a clear rejection" of the plans of a "self-interested few".

UEFA and FIFA would be acting lawfully by freezing out the proposed competition and its teams, the European Union Court of Justice advocate general Athanasios Rantos said on Thursday.

Formally announcing his non-binding opinion in Luxembourg, ahead of a judgement expected in the new year, Rantos was responding to a request by a Madrid court for a ruling on whether FIFA and UEFA would have the right to take action in accordance with competition law and fundamental freedoms.

European Super League (ESLC) officials have argued such actions should be regarded as anti-competitive and incompatible with EU competition law.

Responding to the opinion from Rantos, the European Club Association (ECA) said the message proposed "a clear rejection of the efforts of a few to undermine the foundations and historical heritage of European football for the many".

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are no longer members of the ECA, having quit when the breakaway was announced in April 2021 and retained an interest in the breakaway getting off the ground even after its dramatic near-immediate collapse.

The nine clubs that fled the Super League project have returned to the ECA fold after withdrawing their resignations from the group. Those clubs are Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Inter and Milan.

The ECA, which represents nearly 250 clubs, said it remained "explicit in its strong opposition towards those self-interested few seeking to disrupt European club football and undermine the values that underpin it".

In a statement, it added: "ECA stands for the responsible, progressive evolution of football and remains steadfast in its belief that in Europe this should be achieved alongside and in partnership with UEFA as the legitimate governing body, together with other fellow professional football stakeholders and European and governmental institutions.

"A great amount of positive reform and progress has been achieved by ECA working in collaborative partnership with UEFA in recent years for the benefit of the entire European football ecosystem."

FIFA also said it welcomed the news from Luxembourg. It backed the opinion that any new competition would need approval from the world and European governing bodies, and that sanctions could be imposed if that was not forthcoming.

FIFA praised the noting by Rantos "of the special nature of sport, including the pyramid structure, which preserves the nature of sporting merit and open competitions accessible to all, as well as the principles of promotion and relegation, competitive balance, and financial solidarity".

Bernd Reichart, CEO of A22 Sports Management, the company formed to deliver the Super League project, believes it can still be realised.

Clubs from across Europe's top leagues would be targeted to be involved, with the concern of those in opposition being that it would weaken existing competitions.

Reichart said: "The opinion of the advocate general is one step in an ongoing case, and we are pleased with the recognition of the right of third parties to organise pan-European club competitions.

"The advocate general made clear that UEFA has a monopolistic position which comes with important responsibilities for enabling third parties to act freely in the market.

"However, we believe the 15 judges of the Grand Chamber who are entrusted with the responsibility to examine this case, will go substantially further and provide the opportunity for clubs to manage their own destiny in Europe."

UEFA and FIFA would be entitled to freeze out a European Super League and its competing teams, according to a key opinion published on Thursday by the European Union's Court of Justice.

A calamitous launching of the Super League last year saw 12 teams agree to take part, before most pulled out in a hurry after a furious backlash from fans, politicians and football governing bodies.

The Spanish league has since said it is determined to fend off a new proposition for an elite league, which it has warned would "destroy" the existing structure of the domestic game.

It was revealed in October 2022 that a move was under way to revive the proposals, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus still thought to be keen; however, there remains firm opposition from UEFA, which runs European football, and world governing body FIFA.

The advocate general of the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), Athanasios Rantos, was responding to a request by the Commercial Court in Madrid to rule on whether FIFA and UEFA would have the right to take action in accordance with competition law and fundamental freedoms.

European Super League (ESLC) chiefs argued such actions should be regarded as anti-competitive and incompatible with EU competition law.

Rantos said in his opinion, which is not binding and will be followed by a court judgement expected in the new year, that: "Whilst ESLC is free to set up its own independent football competition outside the UEFA and FIFA ecosystem, it cannot however, in parallel with the creation of such a competition, continue to participate in the football competitions organised by FIFA and UEFA without the prior authorisation of those federations."

FIFA and UEFA had warned that players and clubs taking part in the breakaway league would be banned from their own competitions.

Six clubs from the Premier League and three each from LaLiga and Serie A initially agreed to join the European Super League, prior to public reaction leading to a rethink.

The opinion from Rantos noted that national federations and leagues would be able to threaten sanctions against clubs entering competitions "which would risk undermining the objectives legitimately pursued by those federations of which they are members".

UEFA said in response: "UEFA warmly welcomes today's unequivocal opinion recommending a ruling of the CJEU in support of our central mission to govern European football, protect the pyramid and develop the game across Europe."

It described the opinion as "an encouraging step towards preserving the existing dynamic and democratic governance structure of the European football pyramid".

UEFA added: "Football in Europe remains united and steadfastly opposed to the ESL, or any such breakaway proposals, which would threaten the entire European sports ecosystem."

Barcelona would receive a €1billion bonus for being one of the Super League's founders, club president Joan Laporta has revealed.

Laporta also believes the competition would resemble a "much-improved Champions League".

Nine of the Super League's 12 founding clubs withdrew their support in the face of public and media pressure following a botched launch last year, though three clubs have advocated a revival of the competition.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have all been vocal in their support for the project, with a new format reportedly being drawn up by A22 Sports' chief executive Bernd Reichart.

Having organised a meeting with Reichart earlier this week, UEFA hit out at the "greedy plan" of the Super League's backers, accusing them of jeopardising the future of football.

However, Laporta – who has spent his second spell as Barca president battling a financial crisis at Camp Nou – feels the competition would offer his club several benefits.

"From the outset, for the founding clubs, there is an initial bonus of €1bn, and per season, we could get about €300m annually in this competition," Laporta told Sport.

"In addition, the key to the Super League is that the clubs will have governance. UEFA will obviously be at the governance table, but the clubs will have the majority.

"The Super League is a great opportunity. But you can only win through dialogue. What the Super League aims to do is improve football. 

"It fights for the sustainability of football, so that the clubs come out of ruin, so that the clubs can be more and more competitive and have more resources. 

"The Super League will end up as a much-improved Champions League, which will be based on meritocracy, that is, it will be open, without club discrimination, but with guarantees and rules that will allow clubs to have more resources. 

"Super League chief executive Bernd Reichart met last Tuesday with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin in a very important step forward."

Despite their economic troubles, Barca embarked on a significant spending spree in the last transfer window, acquiring the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha.

While the Blaugrana were criticised for gambling the club's future after selling shares in their future television rights and in-house production company to fund those deals, Laporta says they will look for opportunities to strengthen again in January.

"The economic levers have helped to save the club from bankruptcy and to build a competitive team," Laporta said. 

"But the hole was so big that we still have an operating deficit of €200m annually, as a result mainly of the enormous expenses that we have, especially with the wage bill.

"To sign in winter, we would have to incorporate players that improve what we already have. It's not easy, especially considering that we continue to have fair play problems due to our elimination from the Champions League, which has reduced our budgeted income.

"LaLiga has already warned us that we will have less capacity to sign. We will try to reverse it by negotiating with LaLiga to reconsider its interpretation [of the rules] and achieve new income with victories in the Europa League or the Supercopa de Espana. Even with some friendly matches during the World Cup."

UEFA has hit out at the "greedy plan" to revive the Super League following Tuesday's meeting with the competition's backers A22 Sports, accusing them of jeopardising the future of football.

It was revealed last month that Bernd Reichart was heading up plans for a revival of the Super League, which retains the support of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus following a failed launch in April 2021.

On Tuesday, UEFA announced it had reaffirmed its opposition to the Super League project at a meeting requested by A22, which was attended by several big-name executives including Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn.

However, European football's governing body was infuriated by a subsequent statement from A22, accusing UEFA of seeking to preserve the "status quo" and possessing a monopoly over continental competitions.

UEFA then released a second statement of its own, saying A22 had disrespected football's organisers and possessed no concrete plans for a new Super League format. 

"A22 Sports Management has published an account of their visit to UEFA Headquarters in Nyon today. UEFA is currently checking the recording to see if they are talking about the same meeting," the statement began.

"The 'other executives' they refer to were not faceless bureaucrats but senior stakeholders from across European football; players, clubs, leagues and fans, people who live and breathe the game every day. To fail to recognise that is disrespectful.

"If there is a 'takeaway' from today, it should be that the whole of European football opposes their greedy plan, as was clearly communicated in our media release. 

"European football has constantly demonstrated its openness to change, but it must be for the benefit of the whole game, not just a few clubs.

"A22 wanted dialogue, so we gave them two-and-a-half hours of time from all of the game's stakeholders, and each one rejected their approach. 

"As the Football Supporters' Association said, the UK has had as many Prime Ministers in the last two months as they have supporters of their plans.

"They claim not to represent the three remaining clubs. They refuse to define what their alleged new approach is. They claim to want dialogue. But when presented with the chance, they have nothing to say.

"The time for real dialogue is tomorrow, when the Convention on the Future of European Football reconvenes here in Nyon. 

"National associations, clubs, leagues, coaches, players, fans, agents and administrators will gather to discuss the real issues facing the game, not to spend time indulging bankers and marketing executives on ideas that put the future of the world's favourite game in jeopardy."

UEFA reaffirmed its opposition to the founding of breakaway competitions in a meeting with Super League backers A22 Sports on Tuesday.

It was revealed last month that media executive Bernd Reichart was heading up plans for a revival of the Super League, which endured a failed launch in the face of public and media pressure last year.

While nine of the competition's 12 founding clubs withdrew in the face of widespread criticism, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remain committed to the project.

Reichart, who represented A22 Sports at Tuesday's meeting, told the Financial Times in October there is "a lot of sympathy" for the Super League.

Following the meeting, however, UEFA declared European football's organisers remain committed to competitions based on "openness, solidarity and meritocracy".

"UEFA accommodated a meeting request from A22 Sports, a private commercial venture, today in Nyon by offering them a chance to address all the genuine representative authorities of European football," a UEFA statement began.

"Top management of UEFA, led by president Aleksander Ceferin, and high representatives from the national leagues, clubs, players and fans, stressed together that the opposition to the self-proclaimed Super League [ESL] remains overwhelming today as it has been since April 2021.

"In line with the unity of European football, UEFA and the participating football stakeholders once again unanimously rejected the rationale underpinning projects such as ESL during today's discussion. 

"The participants took note, with surprise, the claims of A22 Sports' CEO that this company is not representing any clubs in any capacity, including the three clubs who continue to openly support the project.

"UEFA and football stakeholders remain committed to the foundations of European football, which are based on openness, solidarity and meritocracy and serve broader objectives of sporting principles and societal interest, rather than on privilege and self-entitlement.

"European football will continue to stand together firmly for the positive future development of the game and society."

As well as Ceferin, several big-name executives attended the meeting, including LaLiga president Javier Tebas, Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn.

Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have continued to call for the establishment of a Super League in recent months, and are awaiting the ruling in a legal case at the European Court of Justice after accusing UEFA of possessing a monopoly over international competitions.

LaLiga has warned a fresh attempt to launch a European Super League will be offering only a rehashed version of the competition that launched and collapsed within days last year, leaving clubs humiliated.

The Spanish league is determined to fend off a new proposition for an elite league, and has warned it would "destroy" the existing structure of the domestic game.

In a statement, LaLiga pointed to a previous proposal from 2019, as well as the calamitous launching of the Super League last year that saw 12 teams agree to take part, before almost all pulled out in a hurry after a furious backlash from fans, politicians and football governing bodies.

It was revealed in October 2022 that A22 Sports Management – a company representing the Super League clubs – is planning to revive the proposals. Bernd Reichart, a media executive, has been appointed to head up the plans.

LaLiga said on Twitter on Friday: "The promoters of the Super League are now preparing a model similar to the one put forward in 2019, which is still closed or mostly closed, which will destroy the national leagues and which has already been rejected by clubs and leagues in Europe."

Spanish giants Barcelona are among the teams still keen on the idea of a new competition, with club president Joan Laporta last month saying it would be "more even" than the current system, claiming UEFA is not satisfactorily enforcing the ethos of financial fair play.

LaLiga published a video expressing its opposition to the Super League, in which it stated that "the whole of European football took a stand against its closed, selfish and elitist model".

"Now the promoters of the Super League are trying to conceal its format, claiming that they still don't have a fixed model although it will be an inclusive and open," LaLiga added.

"We know that this is false, and that they want to present a semi-closed format similar to 2019 which has already been rejected by the clubs and European leagues.

"This model is based on promotion and relegation between European divisions where the national leagues do not provide direct access to the top tier. On the contrary, they perpetuate the participation of a privileged few, even if they perform poorly in their domestic leagues.

"To be clear: anything less than any club earning its place in Europe's top flight through success in the domestic leagues will remain a closed or semi-closed model.

"We have also heard that the Super League wants to claim to be the saviour of football, saying that the current system no longer appeals to young people. Fake news. As an example, data shows that LaLiga's audience in Spain among those under the age of 24 has increased by more than 22 per cent in the last four seasons."

LaLiga also said research showed football's global fan base had risen by 3.4 per cent in the 16-29 age bracket, while stating TikTok metrics revealed 60 per cent of its mainly young audience consumes football content.

The statement from LaLiga said the Super League's promise of "a more exciting competition" would in reality mean "a constant stream of the same type of clashes, turning the extraordinary into the ordinary".

It warned such a competition "would destroy the ability to turn dreams into reality", denying smaller clubs than the cherry-picked elite the long-established pathway to competition at the highest level.

LaLiga, whose president Javier Tebas has been a vocal opponent of the proposed new competition, added: "The promoters of the Super League must respect the will of European fans and citizens, where the Council of Europe has already taken a position against the Super League and the European Parliament has defended an open, democratic model based on meritocracy."

A new proposal for a European Super League is being worked on, with the breakaway competition's management company promising "even fans will have a lot of sympathy for the idea".

The Super League's launch last year failed spectacularly, with nine of the 12 founder clubs promptly withdrawing due to fan, media and player pressure.

However, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have stood by the plans.

Eighteen months on, A22 Sports Management – a company representing the Super League clubs – are now planning to revive the proposals.

Bernd Reichart, a media executive, has been appointed to head up the plans.

He told the Financial Times: "We want to reach out to stakeholders in the European football community and broaden this vision.

"Even fans will have a lot of sympathy for the idea. It is a blank slate. Format will never be an obstacle."

Reichart promised there will be changes made to the initial proposal, which was for 12 teams to be permanent members of the Super League, with other clubs invited on merit.

"There is a reassessment - there is a clearly stated move towards an open format and that permanent membership is off the table," Reichart said, echoing the sentiment of Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who called for the Super League not to be a closed shop.

"We want to see whether or not there is broader consensus about the problems facing European football."

Reichart is targeting a launch in the 2024-25 season, as he added: "If fundamental change is to come, we want to be prepared."

Barcelona chief Joan Laporta is not a fan of the original plans for a European Super League, even though his club have stood by the proposal.

Along with 11 other European heavyweights, Barca attempted to form a breakaway competition in April 2021.

However, nine of the 12 teams withdrew due to the unpopularity of the proposals, with UEFA's reaction particularly strong.

The sides nevertheless avoided any meaningful punishment and three clubs – Barca, Real Madrid and Juventus – remain committed to a Super League.

However, Laporta, who succeeded Josep Maria Bartomeu as Barca president in March of last year, does not believe a closed-shop Super League would be the correct way to go.

Indeed, Laporta believes keeping alive the chance of smaller teams winning major competitions is crucial.

"I think that playing between the big clubs would end up tiring," he said in an interview for the Sonora project. 

"Those of us who like football, [it] would end up tiring us. It's nice and healthy that a smaller team beats the big one. 

"You find that a European Championship is won by Greece and it is very nice. And when Leicester [City] won in England it was special. This is football.

"I entered the Super League as Barca's representative with everything already well advanced. My criteria was, leave a closed league, we have to make an open Super League, where there is a meritocracy.

"Another thing that we have to combine is the Super League with the leagues of each country. For me that is very important. I believe in the leagues of each country and for me it would be a mistake for the Super League to replace the leagues."

Laporta believes further tweaks to the Champions League, despite a new 36-team format having already been announced for the 2024-25 season onwards, are required, however.

He explained: "[We] need an improved Champions League, with a very good competition format, which will surely be the most attractive competition in the world.

"But at the same time you have to maintain the [domestic] leagues, this is essential." 

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez appeared to again promote the idea of a European Super League as he warned the current state of football shows it is "sick".

Perez has been a leading figure in calls for Europe's elite football clubs to secede from UEFA competitions in recent years, and he was chairman of the proposed Super League in 2021.

The breakaway competition collapsed on the back of shaky alliances between clubs as well as political and public pressure, with each of the five aligned Premier League clubs withdrawing in the days following the announcement.

One of Perez's primary arguments for the concept was to allow Europe's elite to play one another more often, though Madrid did face Inter, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool on their way to winning the Champions League last season.

"To fix a problem, you have to first recognise that you have a problem," Perez said at the club's AGM on Sunday. "Our sport is sick. It is losing its leadership as a global sport.

"We mustn't be confused by the impact of Real Madrid's European Cup run when we were involved in seven games of the highest intensity and interest.

"That was the result of the draw, and of the quality and greatness of our team. It was a spectacle that helped bring excitement back to the viewers.

"That's why we believe European competitions must change, to offer fans top-level games year-round between the strongest teams, with the best players competing."

The 75-year-old also cited tennis, where the recently retired Roger Federer has regularly faced fellow elite players Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

"In tennis, Nadal and Federer have played 40 times in 15 years. Nadal and Djokovic have played 59 matches in 16 years," Perez added, quoted by ESPN.

"In football, we've only played Liverpool nine times in 67 years. We've played Chelsea four times in the history of the European Cup. What sense does it make to deprive fans of all these games?"

Perez also spoke of a recent ranking from Forbes of the world's 50 most valuable sports teams, which had Madrid down in 13th, below several US sports teams.

"We were top in all sports, and now we've fallen to 13th," he said. "We've been overtaken by 12 clubs from American sports. They must be doing something very well in the United States and very badly in Europe.

"Football is losing the global entertainment battle against other sports and other platforms.

"We need a professional, modern, transparent management, not based on old structures designed in the last century. 

"Recently the chairman of the European Clubs' Association [Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi] said – talking about the Super League – that Real Madrid are afraid of the competition. Maybe the president of the ECA has to be reminded who Real Madrid are. Competition is in our DNA."

Gary Neville has labelled investment from the United States a "clear and present danger" to English football following Todd Boehly's call for the Premier League to learn from American sports.

Chelsea chairman Boehly made several controversial suggestions when discussing the future of the English game on Tuesday, making the case for the introduction of an annual all-star game and relegation play-offs. 

Boehly said any future all-star match could pit players from the Premier League's northern clubs against those from the south, with the additional revenue used to fund the wider football pyramid.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp poured cold water on that idea after the Reds' Champions League win over Ajax, declaring: "I'm not sure people want to see that".

Former Manchester United defender Neville, an outspoken critic of the Red Devils' US-based owners the Glazer family, has advocated for English football to introduce an independent regulator since the botched launch of the European Super League in April 2021.

Neville has doubled down on that call in response to Boehly's suggestions, tweeting: "I keep saying it but the quicker we get the regulator in the better. 

"US investment into English football is a clear and present danger to the pyramid and fabric of the game. 

"They just don't get it and think differently. They also don't stop till they get what they want!"

A fan-led review of English football was launched in response to the failed establishment of the Super League last year, with the UK Government subsequently backing plans to introduce an independent regulator.

The Premier League, however, claimed such a change was unnecessary in a statement released in April, though the league said it accepted the need for reforms.

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