A group of top soccer clubs face Champions League organizer UEFA in court on Monday for a legal match that risks the biggest upheaval in European soccer for more than 25 years.
The Super League project failed at launch 15 months ago but the company formed by the 12 rebel clubs — now led by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus — has brought a case to the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.
Judges from 15 of the 27 EU member states will hear arguments over two days with a majority of those national governments supporting UEFA, reports AP.
The clubs will accuse UEFA of alleged abuses of market dominance with control of soccer competitions that breach European law.
UEFA’s defense is that it protects the special place of sports in European society by running competitions in a pyramid structure open to all and funding the grass roots of the game.
A ruling is unlikely this year and will not affect the Super League clubs playing in UEFA competitions from September.
Ten are in the Champions League groups with Manchester United and Arsenal in the second-tier Europa League.
It is the Luxembourg court’s most anticipated sports decision since the so-called Bosman Ruling in 1995.
That case upended soccer’s transfer system, drove up pay for top players and ultimately accelerated a wealth and competitive divide between rich clubs and the rest.
Now, some of those same clubs that built revenues and global brands playing in the Champions League want freedom from UEFA control to run their own competition like an American sports league.
Source: Bahrain News Agency