Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus defended the European Super League (ESL) in a joint statement on Saturday after European ruling body UEFA threatened them with sanctions.
The statement said the 12 founding clubs have suffered “unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offences” to abandon the project and “therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem.”
“This is intolerable under the rule of law.
“Tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA too, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending,” the clubs said.
Out of the original dozen clubs, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus have so far not given up on their Super League ambitions.
The three clubs reinforced their conviction that they created the Super League to provide solutions “to the current unsustainable situation in the football industry”.
They added that it was also to ensure the sport survives in the long term, bringing “financial stability” to the European football community.
They said they are “fully aware of the diversity of reactions” to the initiative and that they were ready to “reconsider the proposed approach.”
However, the clubs added it would be irresponsible to abandon such a “mission to provide effective and sustainable answers to the existential questions that threaten the football industry.”
They reiterated that issues that led to the creation of the Super League have not gone away.
“Therefore we still have the duty to act in a responsible manner and persevere in the pursuit of adequate solutions, despite the unacceptable and ongoing pressures and threats received from UEFA.”
On Friday, UEFA said it reserved all rights to “take whatever action it deems appropriate” against the clubs who have not abandoned their Super League ambitions.
The other nine clubs involved have acknowledged and accepted “that the Super League project was a mistake,” UEFA said.
They will donate a total of 15 million euros (18 million dollars) to youth and grass-roots football.
They will also give 5 per cent of their revenue from UEFA club competitions for one season to be redistributed.
The three remaining Super League clubs said UEFA and FIFA have so far refused to establish any “adequate channel of communication.”
Around three weeks ago 12 top European clubs shocked the football world by publishing their plans to form their own separate league.
But less than 48 hours after the announcement nine clubs abandoned the plans after massive opposition from their fans.