Super League-Uefa: first hearing in Madrid

Today in the Spanish capital preview of the lawsuit filed by Juve, Real, Barcelona in football institutions. Judge Garcia has not set a date for the trial before the EU Court of Justice is due to rule.

From our correspondent Filippo Maria Ricci

Dialectical skirmishes awaiting the big challenge. The preview of the procedure linked to the Superleague took place today in Madrid.

Not in the usual enclosure, the court of the Castile place, but in a small room that was filled quickly in the fourth plant of the court of the Mercantile number 17, to which the cause of the European Superleague has been taken (ESL) , supported by the company A22 Sports Management against FIFA (now absent) and Uefa, supported in turn by the Spanish League and the Football Association. These last two entities are in constant conflict but have decided to join forces against the Superleague project. So, we are on Gran Via, in the heart of the Spanish capital, with temperatures close to 40 degrees.

The formations

Judge Sofia Gil Garcia, who unlike her predecessor had lifted the ban on the possibility of FIFA and Uefa sanctioning the three clubs that are still part of the Superleague, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, had to set the date of the trial and accept or not requests, documents and texts of the parties. Two Super League lawyers, the prosecution, four of his opponents. Jean Louis Dupont, the Belgian lawyer who became famous with the Bosman ruling that revolutionized the world of the football market in 1995, was also in the stands in the first of two rows of seats available to the public . Dupont supports the Super League and is convinced that we are facing a possible new Bosman case.

The date

The preliminary hearing lasted two and a half hours, with the busy judge resolving various issues between the parties. Let’s start with the end: Mrs. Gil Garcia has not set the date of the trial, which she said is expected in two sessions, one of evidence and the other of conclusions, because the trial in Madrid will be very conditioned by that in Luxembourg. And here we open a necessary parenthesis. The lawyers of the Superleague have requested the intervention of the Court of Justice of the EU, based in Luxembourg, called to give an opinion, which is the highest possible on a continental level, on the fundamental question of this story: yes, how the founders of the Superleague claim Articles 49, 50 and 51 of the UEFA are contrary to the provisions of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It revolves around the concepts of abuse of dominance and monopoly.

Binding opinion

The Court of Justice of the EU will study the Superleague case on July 11 and 12: the Luxembourg ruling will obviously affect the Madrid ruling, which is why Judge Gil Garcia did not want to set a date for the trial. If the legitimacy of UEFA’s modus operandi were questioned in Luxembourg, the lawsuit filed in Madrid by the Superliga would gain significant strength. Otherwise, it would lose virtually any legal weight.

The requests

While waiting to see how it will go in northern Europe, in Madrid the judge has admitted some of the things requested by the parties to the trial. The League may call to declare Perez Vela, a football-related public expert in the Liga Tech project. The football association will do the same with Miguel Angel Gil Marín, general manager of Atlético de Madrid, the only Spanish club to leave the Superleague. The judge agreed to include in the court documents the statements of the president of Liverpool on the actual “death” of the Super League (requested by Uefa), as well as those of the president of UEFA, Ceferin, who in a statement mention the defeat of the Super League. League as one of Uefa’s successes in 2021 (requested by SL).

The cause of New York

A22, on the other hand, obtained inclusion in the trial documents of the lawsuit filed in a New York court by Charlie Stillitano, an American businessman who claims to have been threatened by Ceferin, complete with an attached and read whatsapp message publicly in which the president of Uefa prevents the American from doing business with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus under penalty of refusing any trade association with Uefa. This story was revealed by the NY Times two months ago. The judge, on the other hand, rejected SL’s insistent request to submit an economic report on the current state of European football, because it had been prepared outside the deadlines set by the procedure. Appointment in Luxembourg, where the future of the European football organization will be played. The Super League is in obvious difficulties: the European Court of Justice will determine its end or its rebirth.

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