News Live Scores
UEFA Champions League

‘They lie more than Putin!’ - La Liga chief Tebas takes aim at Agnelli amid reports of resurrection of Super League plans

3:00 PM EST 3/3/22
Javier Tebas La Liga
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has also hit out at Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid as talk of a breakaway competition resurfaces

La Liga president Javier Tebas has claimed that those clubs at the centre of renewed talk regarding a European Super League “lie more than Putin”, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin also taking aim at Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona amid further reports of a breakaway competition being established.

A dozen prominent clubs from across Europe – including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, AC Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid – were part of an original scheme that was quickly shut down after it generated fierce opposition from supporters.

Three clubs have refused to shelve the proposals, though, with Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli still looking to garner support for an event that would sit alongside the more established Champions League.

What has been said?

The plans have not gone down well with those calling the shots in Spanish football, with Tebas saying at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit in London: “He [Agnelli] will have to explain it, if he doesn’t explain it, he will be lying.

“A week ago, I think it was in his house there was a meeting of the three teams. Now they are saying they don’t want fixed slots, Real Madrid are saying they don’t want the first slot. It is false.

“It is very difficult for the English teams to form part of this competition so they are creating a European league with two categories and the national leagues are the second categories.

“There will be two or three people relegated but there will always be the typical teams - Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid. It will be difficult for them to go down.

“They have made enemies of UEFA and the Premier League, whose growth goes against their model. We know this, we have got this information. They can say what they want but this is what they are working on.

“Every time I read about it, I get cross, I think they lie more than Putin to be honest.

“They are insisting that introducing this will not affect national leagues. We must be idiots, we must be dumb. But we all say it hurts the national leagues.

“For me it is an insult, I feel humiliated. They will do huge harm.”

Who else has spoken out?

UEFA president Ceferin is another of those that has grown tired of the incessant Super League talk and has sought to reiterate once and for all that any club that agrees to become involved in the project will be removed from all other European competitions.

He said: “I have to say that those speaking about the Super League are not speaking about football. I am sick and tired of this non-football project.

“First, they launched their nonsense of the idea in the middle of a pandemic. Now, we read articles that they are planning to launch another idea now in the middle of a war.

“Do I have to speak more about these people? They obviously live in a parallel world.

“We are helping in a terrible situation, they are working on a project like that. They can pay whoever they want to write ‘this is a nice project, they are full of solidarity, there will be charity to small ones’.

“This is nonsense and everyone knows it. One of them, after it, called me and apologised - but then they go again. For them, the fans are customers. For us, the fans are fans.”

Speaking directly about Juve chief Agnelli, Ceferin added: “They criticised UEFA and the ECA, one of them was chairman of the ECA.

“I have quotes from where he was praising the system a week before they launched the Super League.

“They can play their own competition, nobody forbids them. But if they play their own competition, they can’t play in our competition.”

Agnelli's response

Agnelli also spoke at the Financial Times press conference, and has confirmed that he is still fully behind the Super League while dismissing Tebas' criticism.

"In my opinion European football is in desperate need of reform," said the Juve chief.

"I will not accept questions about Tebas, his statements speak for themselves. The Super League has not gone bankrupt."

Agnelli added on the current state of the controversial plans: "UEFA knew that I as Juventus president was working on something different. It is a collective work of 12 teams, not just one person. 

"These 12 clubs have signed a 120-page contract and it is still binding for 11 of them."

Further reading