UEFA are planning to expel Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus from next season’s Champions League over their involvement in the so-called European Super League, which has since been aborted.
Those three clubs were among 12 founding members of the proposals, which were intended to be a breakaway alternative to UEFA’s competition.
However, whilst England’s ‘big six’ clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham – all withdrew from the plans, along with Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid – these three clubs continued to back the new plans.
On Tuesday it was confirmed by UEFA that had opened disciplinary proceedings into the three sides.
A UEFA statement read: “Following an investigation conducted by UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspectors in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC for a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework.”
However, Spanish radio station Cadena Cope reported later on Tuesday evening that European football’s governing body plans to throw them out of next season’s Champions League.
The disciplinary investigation into the three clubs – who are yet to denounce the proposals and indeed have released a joint statement that they still support the project – was opened two weeks ago.
It is now claimed that UEFA intend to expel the trio from the upcoming editions of the Champions League, for which they have all qualified.
Juventus secured qualification to the competition in dramatic circumstances on the final day of the Serie A season on Sunday, as they triumphed at Bologna and pipped Napoli to the remaining top four spot – Gennaro Gattuso’s side were held at home by Hellas Verona.
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The report claims that the three sides would be replaced in the competition by those who finished immediately below them in the standings, with each of their respective leagues still holding the allocated number of qualification spots.
Such a scenario would see Real Sociedad and Real Betis – who finished fifth and sixth in this season’s La Liga respectively – upgraded from their Europa League qualifications to Europe’s premier club competition, while it was also see Napoli upgraded to the Champions League.
Alongside expelling Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus from their competitions, UEFA is reportedly planning on hitting each of the three clubs with a hefty fine.
Their removal from the competition would also see each club suffer a sizable hit in their income streams and with each of the trio currently in periods of varying degrees of financial uncertainty, this development could be significant.
The three clubs would be able to appeal any decision from UEFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which could complicate the situation, particularly with a pressing timeframe ahead of the UEFA competitions getting underway next season.
The latest reports suggest UEFA are nearing a decision on sanctioning the rebel trio and this could spark a legal battle ahead of the new campaign.