FOOTBALL fans fear the hated European Super League is on the way back following a sensational ruling by the European Court of Justice.
The court has determined Fifa and Uefa acted against competition law when they blocked the formation of a European Super League in 2021.
Twelve of Europe's biggest clubs proposed the formation of a European Super League two years ago.
The proposal was met with significant backlash as fans across the continent protested the idea.
Premier League clubs pulled out one by one following the visceral reaction from fans, who now fear the Super League could be introduced after all.
Now the Super League has announced a new open format consisting of 64 teams and three divisions – Star, Gold and Blue – with promotion and relegation included.
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Teams will play 14 games a season with seven at home and seven away, with the top teams battling it out in play-offs at the end of the season.
One supporter reacted to the court ruling saying: "RIP football as we know it 😭"
Another added: "Football is about to be ruined then…"
A third wrote: "We the fans still don't want that shoddy league."
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And another commented: "Super league here we go."
Spanish giants Barcelona have instantly voiced their "satisfaction" with the court ruling.
In a statement published on their website, the Catalans wrote: "As one of the clubs driving the Super League project, FC Barcelona feels that the sentence paves the way for a new elite level football competition in Europe by opposing the monopoly over the football world, and wishes to initiate new discussions as to the path that European competitions should take in the future."
Club president Joan Laporta also released a video voicing his support for the hated Super League.
And their fellow LaLiga rivals Real Madrid and their president Florentino Perez did likewise with a statement on their website.
However, English football fans may not need to be concerned as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his government have promised to stop clubs from joining new competitions that would kill off the domestic game.
And United released a statement confirming their anti-Super League stance.
It reads: “Our position has NOT changed”.
“We remain fully committed to participation in UEFA competitions, and to positive cooperation with UEFA, the Premier League, and fellow clubs through the ECA on the continued development of the European game.”
Bayern Munich followed suit saying: “It’s very clear: the door for the Super League at FC Bayern remains closed.
“Such a competition would represent an attack on the importance of domestic leagues and the statics of European football.”
And Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin: "I hope they start that competition as soon as possible with two clubs.
"I hope they know what they are doing which I am not so sure about. Football is not for sale."
But conspirators Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are refusing to give up on their breakaway project despite it crashing and burning inside 48 hours two years ago.
The latest idea put forward was for up to 80 clubs to leave Uefa to form a new competition.
But that would NOT include any Premier League clubs, with Madrid-based sports marketing firm A22 using the success of English football as a justification for the new tournament.
And in a boost to that trio of clubs the European Court of Justice ruled that Fifa and Uefa rules giving them the power to approve club competitions “are contrary to EU Law”.
The Court said: “The Fifa and Uefa rules making any new interclub football project subject to their prior approval, such as the Super League, and prohibiting clubs and players from playing in those competitions are unlawful.
“There is no framework for the Fifa and Uefa rules ensuring that they are transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate.
“Similarly the rules giving Fifa and Uefa exclusive control over the commercial exploitation of the rights related to those competitions are such as to restrict competition, given their importance for the media, consumers and television viewers in the European Union.
“The Court observes that the organisation of interclub football competitions and the exploitation of the media rights are quite evidently economic activities.
“They must therefore comply with the competition rules and respect the freedoms of movement, even though the economic pursuit of sport has certain specific characteristics, such as the existence of associations having certain regulatory and control powers and the power to impose sanctions.”
The only consolation was the Court not giving specific approval for Super League.
It said: “That does not mean that a competition such as the Super League project must necessarily be approved.
“The Court, having been asked generally about the FIFA and UEFA rules, does not rule on that specific project in its judgement.”
Real Madrid and Barca have responded positively to the court's judgement, while Super League CEO Bernd Reichart has voiced his approval.
A statement read: "UEFA-monopoly is over. Football is FREE. Clubs are now free from the threat of sanction AND free to determine their own futures!"
"For fans: We propose free viewing of all Super League matches."
"For clubs: Revenues and solidarity spending will be guaranteed."
Real Madrid released a statment that read: "At Real Madrid we welcome with enormous satisfaction the decision adopted by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is responsible for guaranteeing our principles, values and freedoms.
"In the coming days we will carefully study the scope of this resolution, but I do anticipate two conclusions of great historical significance. Firstly, that European club football is not and will never again be a monopoly. And secondly, that from today the clubs will be the masters of their destiny.
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"The clubs see our right to propose and promote European competitions that modernize our sport and attract fans from all over the world fully recognized. In short, today the Europe of freedoms has triumphed again and today football and its fans have also triumphed.
"In the face of the pressures that we have received for more than two years, law, reason and freedom prevail today. And for this reason, Real Madrid will continue working for the good of football."
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