Chelsea fans protest outside Stamford Bridge stadium in London, against...

Chelsea fans protest outside Stamford Bridge stadium in London, against Chelsea's then decision to be included amongst the clubs attempting to form a new European Super League, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. The European Union’s top court has ruled UEFA and FIFA acted contrary to competition law by blocking plans for the breakaway Super League. The case was heard last year at the Court of Justice after Super League failed at launch in April 2021. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin called the club leaders “snakes” and “liars.” Credit: AP/Matt Dunham

BRUSSELS — Reaction to the European Union’s top court ruling on Thursday that UEFA and FIFA unlawfully blocked plans for the breakaway Super League:

“We have won the right to compete. European club football is free. The near-70-year UEFA monopoly is finally over, and the court’s decision has far-ranging and positive consequences for football. We will continue working with clubs, leagues and other stakeholders without fear of sanctions to create the best and most fan-centric football competitions in Europe. For the first time since 1955, pan-European competitions can now be governed by the participating clubs themselves as is the case in virtually all European domestic leagues.” — Bernd Reichart, CEO of A22, the company promoting Super League.

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“UEFA remains resolute in its commitment to uphold the European football pyramid, ensuring that it continues to serve the broader interests of society. We will continue to shape the European sports model collectively with national associations, leagues, clubs, fans, players, coaches, EU institutions, governments and partners alike. We trust that the solidarity-based European football pyramid that the fans and all stakeholders have declared as their irreplaceable model will be safeguarded against the threat of breakaways by European and national laws.” — UEFA in a statement.

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“It has been fully recognized that the clubs have the right to propose and promote European competitions that modernize our sport and attract fans from all over the world. Today a Europe of freedoms has triumphed, and also football and its fans have triumphed. — Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez.

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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez poses for a picture prior...

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez poses for a picture prior the 66th Ballon d'Or ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. The European Union’s top court has ruled UEFA and FIFA acted contrary to EU competition law by blocking plans for the breakaway Super League. The case was heard last year at the Court of Justice after Super League failed at launch in April 2021. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin called the club leaders “snakes” and “liars.” Credit: AP/Francois Mori

“With the greatest respect for the European Court of Justice, today’s judgement does not change anything, really. Historically, we have been organizing the best competitions in the world and this will also be the case in the future." — FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

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“The sentence paves the way for a new elite level football competition in Europe by opposing the monopoly over the football world, and wishes to initiate new discussions as to the path that European competitions should take in the future. The club feels that the medium-term sustainability of European football entails the need create a concept along the lines of the Super League proposed by A22.” — Barcelona in a statement.

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Real Madrid forward Rodrygo Silva, left, battles for the ball...

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo Silva, left, battles for the ball with FC Barcelona's Eric Garcia, right, during a Champions Tour soccer match, Saturday, July 29, 2023 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The European Union’s top court has ruled UEFA and FIFA acted contrary to EU competition law by blocking plans for the breakaway Super League. The case was heard last year at the Court of Justice after Super League failed at launch in April 2021. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin called the club leaders “snakes” and “liars.” Credit: AP/Jeffrey McWhorter

“The world of football moved on from the Super League years ago and progressive reforms will continue. Most importantly, football is a social contract not a legal contract — all the recognized stakeholders of European and world football — spanning confederations, federations, clubs, leagues, players and fans — stand more united than ever against the attempts by a few individuals pursing personal agendas to undermine the very foundations and basic principles of European football.” — European Club Association, which represents Europe’s top football clubs, in a statement.

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“The ruling does not endorse the so-called ‘European Super League’ and the Premier League continues to reject any such concept. The Premier League reiterates its commitment to the clear principles of open competition that underpin the success of domestic and international club competitions. Football thrives on the competitiveness created by promotion and relegation, the annual merit-based qualification from domestic leagues and cups to international club competitions and the longstanding rivalries and rituals that come with weekends being reserved for domestic football.” — English Premier League in a statement.

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“Regardless of this ruling, the entire football ecosystem, including players, coaches, leagues, federations, or clubs, have already spoken out loud and clear to say they do not desire a model that perpetuates the participation of a privileged few, restricting the pinnacle of European football to an elite rather than an open sport for all.” — Spanish league in a statement.

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“Time will show that we were right. I bet 100 dinners that there won't be a Super league in the next four, five, six, seven or eight years. And I bet 1,000 dinners that there won't be free soccer.” — Spanish league president Javier Tebas.

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“This changes nothing about the position of FC Bayern and the ECA that such a competition would represent an attack on the importance of the national leagues and the statics of European soccer. We also support the European club competitions under the umbrella of UEFA. So again, very clearly — the door for the Super League at FC Bayern remains closed.” — Bayern CEO and ECA vice-chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen to news agency dpa.

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“Our position has not changed. We remain fully committed to participation in UEFA competitions, and to positive cooperation with UEFA, the Premier League, and fellow clubs through the ECA on the continued development of the European game." — Manchester United in a statement.

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“The European football family does not want the European Super League. Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain (except for Real Madrid and Barcelona), etc. They don’t want the Super League. We are in favor of protecting the great family of European football, of protecting the domestic leagues and through them achieving qualification for European competitions on the field of play each season.” — Atletico Madrid in a statement.

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“Nothing can replace the legitimacy, credibility and prestige of European competitions as they have been organized for over 60 years now. We are very attached to the principles of sporting merit which must govern the organization of our sport. If soccer is today the world’s greatest sport, it is precisely because it has created the basis for simple, clear and transparent competitions. Nothing can stand in the way of this intangible principle, which is to give everyone the right to “dream” and reach the top of the sporting pyramid." — French league president Vincent Labrune in a statement.

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“It’s neither a major victory for one side or the other. So no big earthquake, perhaps a yellow card for the governing bodies, UEFA and the other big sports federations, but no red cards. But neither does it mean that the Super League was approved because it wasn’t approved. This can be seen as another chapter in the ongoing haggling and struggle between different interests within European and international football. That’s been going on for decades.” — Alex Phillips, former UEFA and Asian Football Confederation executive.

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“This is merely a repackaging or recycling, a terrible idea with no regard to sporting merit or what makes the hearts of the competition. The first version of the Super League didn’t fail because of existing regulation at the time, but it failed because we all showed unity against the project. So, we are European fans, we still have the same position. We’re still united against this business oriented vision of football, same as in 2021. And there is no reason why we would change that." — Ronan Evain, executive director of Football Supporters Europe.

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“The players have already expressed their views on the project. They were unanimously against. They have given their word. And they’re still against it.” — David Terrier, FIFPRO Europe president representing pro players on the continent.

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