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Football Reporting


European Super League is ‘a necessity’

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said the European Super League (ESL) is “a necessity” but that the club’s members will have the last word on the proposal.

Barca were one of the 12 founding members of the project and have not yet withdrawn their support for it. However, eight of the clubs involved — all six English clubs, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid — have withdrawn to leave the competition in tatters just three days after it was launched.

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Despite the public backlash, Laporta said that the league still exists and the club are willing to hold talks with UEFA.

“We had a position and we still have one and we will explain,” he told TV3. “The position is one of caution but it [Super League] is a necessity. On the other hand as it should be, our members will have the last word on it.

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“It’s absolutely necessary that the big clubs, given that we generate a lot of revenue, we want to have the capacity to have our say on the sharing process. And also, we believe that it’s important that this is accompanied by an attractive competition based on sporting merit.

“We are the defenders of maintaining local leagues and therefore, we are always open to dialogue with UEFA. That is the premise. Everyone wants to make football better and have the necessary resources to make it a great spectacle.

“Because if the big clubs don’t have these resources, football will be damaged. There will be institutional harmony and a willingness to think about all this.

“There was a series of pressure which made some clubs pull out or value it in a different way, but the fact is that the proposal still exists but more resources are needed given that we have important investment, we paid important salaries and if we want football to be a spectacle through sporting merits, whoever wants this level of quality to be maintained must take into account what we are proposing.”

Laporta’s comments come after Barca defender Gerard Pique criticised the ESL and said the plans would have “destroyed the entire football ecosystem.”

Speaking in his news conference on Wednesday, Barca boss Ronald Koeman blasted UEFA for only focusing on money and ignoring football players and managers.

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Barca welcome Getafe at Camp Nou on Thursday as they look to close the gap on La Liga leaders Madrid.

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