UEFA appeals after suspending Super League legal action

UEFA has appealed to remove a judge in Madrid from its case against clubs still committed to the European Super League after suspending its legal action.

Monday’s suspension saw UEFA comply with the ruling of a court in Madrid which has found that it did not have the power or authority to take action against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

The three clubs had argued in court that UEFA’s attempt to punish them for setting up a breakaway league was against European competition law.

But, on Tuesday, the governing body took action to try and remove judge Manuel Ruiz de Lara from the case as well as filing papers with the higher court of appeal in Madrid.

“UEFA has filed a motion for the recusal of the judge presiding over the current proceedings as it believes there are significant irregularities in these proceedings,” a UEFA statement read.

“In line with Spanish law and in the fundamental interests of justice UEFA fully expects the judge in question to immediately stand aside pending the full and proper consideration of this motion.

“Further, UEFA shall also be making a formal appeal to a higher court, the Provincial Court of Madrid (Court of Appeal).”

The proposed breakaway European Super League has collapsed
The Premier League’s ‘big six’ will no longer need to pay the fines imposed on them for trying to set up the European Super League

Before the appeal was launched, UEFA said it would be contacting the other nine clubs involved in the attempted breakaway to tell them they do not have to pay – for the time being at least – the combined £22m they had agreed to donate to grassroots and community projects for trying to set up the ESL in April.

The nine clubs are Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

City supporters display a banner inside Wembley amid the fallout from the European Super League
The attempted breakaway European Super League sparked mass protests at Premier League clubs

The court in Madrid ruled UEFA was breaking European Union free trade laws by pursuing disciplinary action against the three rebel clubs. Last week the court ordered UEFA to stop its disciplinary proceedings against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

In May the case was referred to the European of Justice where UEFA will deny that it acted unlawfully by blocking the creation of the ESL and threatening to punish clubs who were still involved in the breakaway.

UEFA still has the option of taking disciplinary action against the three clubs when legal proceedings are finished. It can also then ask the other nine clubs to pay the agreed £22m.