Sport UEFA hints at tiered punishments for Super League rebels
The Importance of Seizing on the Post-Super League Moment
The backlash to the Super League was definitive and demonstrable, but that doesn't mean all is well. What happens next will dictate the future of the sport. The war has been won, and decisively so. Football, for now, remains more than content produced to enrich club owners. The scenes outside Stamford Bridge as word swept a demonstrating crowd that Chelsea had withdrawn from the Super League will not quickly be forgotten, and neither will the shambling, tone-deaf apology from Liverpool owner John Henry.
The fallout continues for the dirty dozen who tried to break away from UEFA to set up their own “Super League” according to reporting from
The sports network details that UEFA has been in negotiations with each of the breakaway clubs to settle on lesser sanctions in exchange for a clear commitment to abandon the “Super League” concept entirely. Sources have indicated that understandings have been reached with the six British clubs involved, as well as. is reported to be close to an agreement as well. This leads four hold-outs, , , and starting to look a lot like Butch and Sundance in the “Blaze of Glory” scene.
Super League 'flat-earthers' in UEFA president's sights
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has refused to rule out a ban from next season's Champions League for all 12 clubs involved in trying to set up a breakaway European Super League. But Ceferin also told Britain's Mail on Sunday that the six English clubs -- Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United -- deserve greater leniency as they were the first to back out. He said their stance was in contrast to that of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, ridiculed by Ceferin as "the ones who feel that Earth is flat and... think the Super League still exists.
Before we talk about how this is being achieved and what may be coming down the pipe for these teams, we should take a moment to look at the man who is at the centre of this maelstrom, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who I like to refer to as “St. Ceferin.”
Ceferin is not a big footballing name like Platini or Villar, his background is in law, being a multi-lingual lawyer with an interest in football who rose from his family’s law firm into the legal arm of UEFA where he helped create a number of structural and governance reforms to make the organization more responsive (including term limits for the presidency). Beyond his obvious intelligence and attention to detail there are two characteristics that are critical to his success in the current crisis.
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The first is that his wealth arises from a family-owned law firm, and while it represents many athletes and sports organizations, it does not derive its existence from any of the wide web of industries and interests that are controlled or influenced by the members of the Super League. This leaves the rogues unable to exert influence on Ceferin as an individual through outside channels. It means Ceferin can follow his principles in this conflict without fear of having his legs cut out from underneath him.
Of his position at UEFA, Ceferin has said: “If they don’t like me, they can just vote me out and I’ll go back to Slovenia. I’m not attached to this chair.”
You might even say he is “untouchable.”
Secondly, he is simply born-again hard. Before being a lawyer, Ceferin was a soldier, and he wasn’t a garratrooper either. As a teenager he served in the Yugoslav people’s army and later served in the Slovenian Army during the Slovenian War of Independence in 1991. He holds a third-dan black belt in Shotokan Karate and loves motorsport having driven across the Sahara five times, once on a motorcycle. He is not a man given to bend in whatever direction the wind blows.
Cowboys split on which cornerback to select with 10th pick
While it’s always important to take pre-draft news with a grain of salt, that the Cowboys have generally hinted at their first-round selection days before the draft. The reporter details how the Cowboys have narrowed their focus on a specific first-rounder each year since 2015, with the one exception being last year when CeeDee Lamb unexpectedly fell.One thing is for sure: The Cowboys won’t be trading up from No. 10.
Now UEFA’s sheriff has turned his considerable talents to breaking up the Super League cabal through classic law enforcement techniques, taking the lessons learned from “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” in game theory and combining it with divide and conquer tactics derived from decades of interrogation successes.
Picture the typical law enforcement assault on a criminal enterprise. You arrest as many of the participants as you can, separate them and start interrogating. You create an incentive to cooperate by offering the best deals to the first ones who will roll, leaving the more reluctant conspirators to suffer the most significant punishments. In this case it is reported that the most recalcitrant clubs will face UEFA’s harshest penalty, a two-year ban from UEFA competitions.
Ceferin has made his approach clear with very public statements like these:
“For me, there are three groups of this 12 — the English six, who went out first, then the other three [, and Inter] after them and then the ones who feel the Earth is flat and they think the Super League still exists [Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus]. And there is a big difference between those. But everyone will be held responsible. In what way, we will see.”
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The rebels’ response has been weak, or even pathetic. They have leaked information that they feel an injunction they obtained by forum shopping a friendly judge in Madrid prevents UEFA from punishing them. They will likely be disappointed if they feel this apparently ex-parte, ultra-vires motion will protect them from sanction. Asnews commented on the subject, “It was not immediately clear what authority the Madrid court, which adjudicates corporate disputes, had over the Swiss-based soccer bodies.” Legally speaking it appears that the Super League’s approach is a stall tactic and in the long run will look like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
In this battle, it seems like providence has delivered for the football fan; placing the right man, in the right place, at the key moment. If the three holdouts continue to try to turn professional football into a closed shop reserved for an elite few they will find out what it looks like when a good man goes to war.
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