FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta and Real Madrid counterpart Florentino Perez took advantage of their teams’ Copa del Rey semi-final first leg meeting on Thursday to meet and discuss a strategy for the launch the European Super League (ESL), according to reports.
Along with Juventus, the two Spanish giants are the only remaining outfits that publicly back the breakaway project which threatens to dismantle the Champions League and many domestic championships across the Old Continent.
Initial plans for the ESL were launched in the spring of 2021 but soon hit a brick wall after mass opposition from the supporters of the six English Premier
Despite their clubs being eternal enemies, the presidents of Barca and Real Madrid regularly meet for lunch before the world’s biggest derby known as El Clasico.
Prior to this week’s clash, which eventually saw Barca take a 1-0 lead back to Camp Nou for the second leg on April 5, the two leaders reportedly took advantage of the opportunity to discuss how the ESL can get off the ground again according to Mundo Deportivo.
Laporta and Perez were accompanied by a small group of board members and higher ups, it is said, and Barca lawyer Fernando Ledesma was also present.
The pair “took stock of the Super League’s current situation”, MD claims, and “marked the strategy that will be followed in the coming months, [while] taking into account that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) must rule on the lawsuit filed against UEFA” either at the end of this month or the beginning of April.
Barca allegedly remain convinced that the ECJ will rule in their favor and that the ESL project will go ahead with UEFA eventually yielding and also backing it.
Last month, the A22 company charged with overseeing the creation of the ESL revealed plans for a new 60-80 team format.
“The foundations of European football are in danger of collapsing. It’s time for a change,” demanded chief executive Bernd Reichart, before lamenting the lack of power that clubs have in decision making as “sporting and financial foundations crumble around them.”
Reports in 2021 claimed that the ESL’s clubs would receive €3.5 billion ($3.72bn) “for infrastructure investment and to offset their losses from the pandemic”, which would be particularly welcomed by a debt-ridden FC Barcelona.
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