The coup attempt was put down for the time being, but “business as usual” is unthinkable for Aleksander Ceferin. In a media offensive shortly before the semi-finals of the Champions League, the vicious UEFA boss made it clear: In particular, the ringleaders of the twelve Super League separatists will not get away with it.
“Everyone has to take the consequences for what they have done – and we cannot pretend nothing happened,” said the UEFA president in the UK Mail on Sunday. The Slovene did not explicitly rule out a premier class exclusion for the coming season, but was not yet concrete before further consultations “in the next few days”.
He does not want to speak of a “disciplinary procedure”, but each of the twelve top clubs involved must “be held accountable in different ways”. The UEFA Executive Committee can also make decisions. “We’ll see. It’s too early to say that,” said Ceferin and announced in another interview with the World on sunday: “If you want to return, you have to accept our terms.”
The 53-year-old divided the renegades to be condemned into three “very different” groups: the “English Six”, who jumped first and deserved more indulgence, the three stragglers (Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan) and the trio of the unteachable , “who think the earth is flat and the Super League still exists,” as Ceferin mockingly added.
This year’s Champions League semi-finalist Real Madrid, Italy’s record champions Juventus Turin and FC Barcelona must expect the toughest sanctions. Real President Florentino Perez recently stressed provocatively on Spanish radio that the plans for the new European elite league were by no means dead, but only put on hold.
Bayern boss Rummenigge: Super League “finally done”
According to Ceferin, a potentially serious change to the Champions League reform that will take effect from 2024 would also be conceivable as a reaction to the rebellion. The fact that two of the four additional starting places should go to clubs not qualified beyond the league via a five-year ranking list was a lucrative concession, especially for the heavyweights.
The coming days will reveal whether the deep football trenches can still be filled in. Board boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge from the German record champions Bayern Munich is sure that the Super League is “finally done,” as the 65-year-old told Bild on Sunday.
The internationally valued football expert therefore now sees himself as a “mediator” who has not yet written off even a staunch separatist like Perez. “Here, too, it will be important to build a bridge. I am a friend of dialogue and not of aggressive discussion,” said Rummenigge.
The Bayern boss continues to rely on a profound rethinking after the corona crisis. With a view to the transfer market, the motto must be: “Do not inflate the costs even further, but reduce them! Bake smaller rolls in terms of player salaries and consultant fees. And in Europe we deal with a salary cap such as the salary cap in the US professional teams.”