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Super League lawyer seeks football reform ‘100 times’ bigger than Bosman rule

The lawyers for the European Super League on Tuesday told the European Court of Justice (CJEU) that they were seeking a “liberalisation” of football “100 times more important” than the Bosman ruling. 

The Bosman case, “was a liberalisation of the labour market,” Jean-Louis Dupont, one of the lawyers of the Super League, told the court in Luxembourg. 

“Here we are talking about the market of football production.”

Named after footballer Jean-Marc Bosman who took his Belgian club to court to force a transfer to France, the ruling in 1995 enshrined the principle of free movement of players in the EU. 

Dupont, who was part of Bosman’s legal team, is this time attempting to persuade the CJEU that European football’s governing body UEFA is violating free competition by opposing a private alternative to the Champions League. 

“This is not about establishing a Wild West law. It’s just that the Court of Justice can say that in all other sectors, in an organised way, under the supervision of the European Commission, no one can have a monopoly and everyone can try their luck,” the lawyer told AFP after the second and final day of the hearing. 

“Everyone has the right to produce something, to offer the supporter better than what exists. That is called competition,” he said. 

For UEFA, its representative Donald Slater brushed off these arguments. 

“The Super League did not fail because of a possible monopolistic position (of UEFA) in a competitive market, but because European fans appreciate very much the values that we offer,” Slater said. 

The Super League project, a private tournament launched by 12 large, where European clubs would have become permanent members, was announced with great fanfare in April 2021. 

In the face of the fury of many fans and the threat of political measures, the deal fell through in 48 hours. 

Of the original dozen, only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus refuse to withdraw from the project.

Their complaint was referred to the CJEU by a Spanish judge.

The advocate general, who assists the CJEU, will present a legal opinion on December 15. 

The CJEU is not obliged to take the same view and is not expected to rule until early 2023.

The three Super League holdouts are also contesting UEFA’s threats of sanctions in a separate action in the Spanish courts.

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