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Nine Super League soccer clubs accept UEFA fines, three rebels face bans

Nine Super League soccer clubs accept UEFA fines, three rebels face bans

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MANCHESTER, England — Nine of the 12 soccer clubs that intended to join the Super League formally have renounced the breakaway and committed to the existing European competitions. But they will have to give up 5% of their Union of European Football Associations revenue for one season as a punishment for the rebellion that briefly split the sport.

But Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have refused to approve what UEFA on Friday called “reintegration measures” and they will be referred to UEFA disciplinary bodies for sanctions after backing the new largely closed competition, meaning they could be banned from the Champions League.

The Super League project imploded three weeks ago after the English clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham — backed out less than 48 hours after a backlash from the fans and British government.

The Premier League clubs along with Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan have signed up to a settlement with UEFA to participate only in the existing open European competitions.

The nine clubs will make a combined payment of 15 million euros ($18 million) for what UEFA called a “gesture of goodwill” to benefit children, youth and grassroots soccer. They also have accepted UEFA withholding 5% of revenue for the next season they play in their club competitions.

The clubs also have agreed to be fined 100 million euros if they seek again to play in an unauthorized competition or 50 million euros if they breach any other commitments to UEFA as part of the settlement.

“The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA,” said Aleksander Ceferin, the organization’s president. “They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots (soccer) in local communities across Europe, including the UK. These clubs recognized their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football.

“The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called ‘Super League,’ and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently.”

Ceferin previously told The Associated Press that the clubs refusing to renege on the Super League could be banned from UEFA’s competitions.

The 12 clubs were dubbed the “dirty dozen” by Ceferin in a heated period when he fought to prevent the clubs launching a competition that would lock in 15 places for teams for more than two decades, rather than having to qualify through annual domestic league placings as is required for the Champions League.

The nine clubs to sign up to UEFA’s “club commitment declaration” will rejoin the European Club Association, which they quit on May 18 when the Super League was announced, and they will terminate their legal involvement with the company.

Kroenke’s situation

Some of the most vocal fan unrest has come from supporters of Arsenal, who want owner Stan Kroenke to sell the team.

But a potential takeover of Arsenal by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek will be protracted and might not happen, according to club great Thierry Henry, who has been consulted by the Swedish billionaire.

Ek recently spoke of his interest in buying Arsenal but has launched no official bid and Kroenke has stated the north London club is not for sale.

“A takeover is going to be very long and not easy if it ever happens,” Henry told Sky Sports this week. “Daniel will not move away. He will be there waiting to see if they want to sell, that is going to take a long time.

“We know what we want to do but first and foremost we need to make sure we can take over, if they are listening. Let’s see where it is going to go, he reached out. I don’t know now how far they went.”

Henry along with fellow former Arsenal players Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira are assisting Ek.

“He wants to reinject the Arsenal DNA, the identity that is long gone,” Henry said. “You don’t have Arsenal people there among the board that can sometimes show the right direction and that is what Daniel wants to do. He already said he collected the funds so he can make sure he can make a good bid. Now obviously they need to listen and see what they can do. Something that is very important about it, saying they want the owner out, we are trying to offer a solution of having the fans as the DNA back of the club.”

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