Rebel clubs refuse to cow down

Say they won’t accept UEFA “coercion” in the matter of the Super League

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus strongly criticised UEFA for opening disciplinary cases against them over their roles in trying to launch a European Super League, saying they won’t accept being pressured by the European soccer body.

The three clubs also defended their attempt to remake European soccer, saying the sport is headed for an “inevitable downfall” unless there are major reforms.

The three clubs are the remaining holdouts among 12 founders of the failed Super League and have refused to renounce the project. They released a statement on Tuesday, a day after UEFA said it had opened proceedings against them for “a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework.”

Its statutes include a section on “prohibited groupings” of clubs or leagues forming without UEFA’s permission or outside its control. The proceedings could lead to the clubs being banned from the Champions League.

“Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, all of them more than a century old, will not accept any form of coercion or intolerable pressure, while they remain strong in their willingness to debate, respectfully and through dialogue, the urgent solutions that football currently needs,” the clubs said.

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