In an extremely high stakes game of chicken, UEFA did not so much as blink on Monday afternoon.
The executive committee of the European football's governing body not only held their vote on a set of Champions' League reforms as scheduled, but also unanimously passed the full package of its planned "compromise" reforms. This was done in defiance of twelve clubs seeking to derail the vote with a Sunday announcement that they wished to form their own "Super League".
UEFA condemned Sunday's announcement in the strongest possible terms. Additionally, the confederation made it clear it was prepared to follow through on threats to expel the clubs from UEFA and ban their players from representing their nations in international football tournaments.
As a continent woke up to this news of Monday morning, widespread denunciations appeared on the editorial pages of virtually European newspaper. The outrage only grew after it was officially revealed that US investment bank JP Morgan Chase is indeed financing the European football split with billions of dollars of investment in the "Super League".
After UEFA's vote, Germany's DFL (responsible for the first two Bundesliga tiers) and the DFB (Germany's official FA) issued a joint statement of support for UEFA.
Bulinews' Peter Vice supplies a translation of the statement below.
|Photo: Granada, CC-by-SA 4.0|
Here's the official statement released just hours ago by the Bundesrepublik's DFL/DFB:
"German football views the establishment of a "European Super League" with great trepidation. We stand in solidarity with UEFA and President Aleksander Ceferin. Concurrently, we support all countermeasures announced by FIFA, UEFA, and the national leagues/associations concerned. We say this fully aware that this could affect the nomination of German national team players under contract with the 'Super League' Clubs."
"At stake is none other than football's status as a game of the people, threatened by a change of course the likes of which we've never seen before. We must not allow the financial interests of a few top clubs in England, Spain, and Italy to abolish existing historic structures. Football in Europe thrives on the fact that it is theoretically possible for any club to compete with the best on the continent. This dream must not be replaced by an essentially closed society. National leagues are the basis for football, its popularity, and its positive influence on communities."
"It is irresponsible and unacceptable to jeopardize the cooperation that has evolved over time. It is this cooperation that has allowed the top clubs to grow over the past decades. On this point we find ourselves in agreement with the overwhelming majority of clubs, leagues, and associations across Europe. Fans across Europe are also raising their voices in support of this stance."
"Against this backdrop, it was absolutely right for the UEFA executive committee unanimously pass the planned reform of European club competitions today. This reform served as an invitation for all clubs to come together under UEFA's aegis, and was a painful compromise in many respects. This offer was rejected by obvious [financial] motivations."
"Football--at every level--has always held strong when joint solutions have been sought. The DFL and DFB shall do their utmost to achieve this, now more so than ever before. Particularly in light of the global COVID crisis, it should be clear what values football stands for: solidarity over egoism."