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‘Barcelona disappointed me the least’ – UEFA president Ceferin still mulling over Super League sanctions

Plans to introduce another elite European competition have been shelved for now, with 12 clubs sweating on possible action against them

Alexander Ceferin continues to deal with the fallout from the failed Super League venture of 12 leading clubs in Europe, with the UEFA president admitting that Barcelona’s involvement in the proposals “disappointed me the least”.

The Blaugrana, who were dragged into discussions by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, joined Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter, AC Milan, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City in breakaway plans.

Said blueprint has now been ripped up, amid fierce opposition to it, and Ceferin is mulling over what to do with those that had threatened to head out on their own.

What has been said?

Ceferin, who made it clear from the off that any of those involved in the Super League would face severe sanctions, has told 24ur: “I would say that the English clubs have made a very good decision and we will take that into account.

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“They admitted their mistake and realised they were wrong. We all make mistakes. In a way, I was disappointed with everyone, but I must say that maybe Barcelona are the ones that disappointed me the least.

“[President Joan] Laporta was elected very recently and I spoke to him two or three times. He was under great pressure due to the financial situation he inherited.

“This happens when you overpay some players and don’t get a result.

“Look at Bayern Munich: they have no debts and have won the Champions League. I was in constant contact with Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Borussia Dortmund’s Joachim Watzke.

“They helped me a lot, as well as [PSG] President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who logically should have been one of the first to take part in the Super League.”

What about punishments?

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No decision has been made as yet on whether punishments will be handed out to the dozen clubs that threatened to tear down European football’s establishment.

Ceferin added on those discussions: “We will talk about football, but in the meetings, I will decide who sits next to me. So, I can put someone a little further away.

“If these clubs want to play in our competition again, they will have to get close to us and we will have to evaluate what happened, but I don’t want to go into details as we are still talking to our legal team.”

The bigger picture

The Super League project fell to pieces inside 48 hours, with Premier League sides leading the way when it came to bowing to supporter pressure.

Grovelling apologies have been offered by many of the owners involved in a much-maligned scheme, with bridges needing to be rebuilt at heavyweight clubs across Europe.

The issue has, however, been put to one side for now and focus can be turned back to domestic battles for trophies and lofty league finishes, continental silverware pushes and efforts to earn call-ups for this summer’s European Championship.

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