Thebes: “The Super League is not just a sporting concept: the big clubs want to command and share the money”


The president of LaLiga, Javier Tebas, warned that the Super League project, promoted by the company A22 Sports Management, “is not only a sports concept” but also hides the interest of the big clubs to “command” and “share the money”, at the presentation of the fourth edition of the ISDE Sports Convention (ISC), the congress on sports law and the sports industry that will be held on May 19 at the Palacio de Santoña in Madrid.

“All I hear about the Super League is constant ”fake news”. People are swallowing it. Deep down the Super League is not just a sporting concept, but rather the big clubs in Europe, the ones that bill the most, want to send them alone in football and give others money. Florentino said that. The Spanish league is a balance, if only the big clubs were in charge it would be a disaster”, he stressed.

This is how Javier Tebas stated at the round table, held this Tuesday in the Aula Magna of the Higher Institute of Law and Economics (ISDE), under the title ‘The Sustainability of European Football and the Super League’, together with Juan José Sánchez Puig, CEO from ISDE; Kepa Larumbe, director of the BDO Legal Area in Spain; and Yago Vázquez Moraga, founding partner of Statim Legal SLP.

With this act, chaired by Juan José Sánchez Puig, CEO of ISDE, the fourth edition of the ISC was launched, the only international conference on law and the sports industry organized by an academic university institution, the ISDE, with the sponsored by LaLiga and the collaboration of the Madrid City Council, CEOE and the Madrid Bar Association (ICAM) in the year prior to the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The president of LaLiga harshly criticized the Super League for having a “closed” competition model that does not prevail “meritocracy”, but rather is a “trap” and referred to the “Negreira case” as the greatest “reputational damage” of the La Liga history.

“We are in the prosecutor’s office and we provide all the documents, and after 48 hours we report it to UEFA. UEFA says that when a country cannot act for whatever reason, in this case because it has been prescribed, they can. What is clear It is that only with the mere intention of adulterating a competition you are committing a crime. Our intention is that they clarify things well and that whatever corresponds. We don’t care if it is Barcelona or any other”, he commented.

In this sense, the maximum mandator of LaLiga recognized not to have spoken with the president of the FC Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, although it indicated that it must be he who goes out to give the “opportune explanations”. “I have not spoken with Laporta. The one who has to speak is him and give the appropriate explanations to football in general and to the fans. He must clarify why Barcelona paid the vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees,” he said.

In his opinion, a model “that has worked for more than 20 years” should not be changed. “I do not see that it is the moment to change anything. You have to consolidate what there is and see how far you go. They want to take part of the cake. They are such different models that there is no possible negotiation with the Super League. It is not negotiable, “he said. .

In addition, the person in charge of the club employers referred to the “failure” of the presentation of the Super League in the media and highlighted his strategy of “puncture the balloon”. “The Super League fails because there were governments that made quick decisions. It was not because Florentino made a bad communication. We knew that it was going to be announced and we designed a strategy that I call” puncturing the balloon “, he evoked.


For his part, Juan José Sánchez Puig said in the presentation of the ISC 2023 that the congress “comes to learn from excellence”. “If we talk about law and sport, about the management model, we have to talk about LaLiga as a model to follow”, he highlighted.

Sánchez Puig declared himself “in love with LaLiga” for everything he does, at an international level, for the Spain brand and the clubs, which allows Spanish sport to be stronger, and for the institution to be above any scandal that there may be in any competition. “Having transparent, upright institutions that are a management model has a lot of merit,” he added.

For Yago Vázquez Moraga, founding partner of Statim, the Super League conflict has highlighted the relevance of European Union law in sport. “Sport is an economic activity and, as such, it is not outside the law of the Union. Before having powers, the EU has already been concerned about the governance of sport. The Super League debate can be similar to what has happened in other sports such as golf or World Athletics. The European football model is not the only one and it is dynamic, but the Super League project does not seem to fit into it,” he said.

Vázquez Moraga does not believe that the conflict will end because, if they agree with him, the project in which Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus survive “must accommodate” the FIFA and UEFA ecosystem, the calendars, arbitrations. “I see a legal melon that has been opened, but that will go a long way,” he predicted.

In the scenario that the CJUE ruled in favor of the Super League, the consequences would be, according to Kepa Larumbe (BDO), “very bad”. “The lawyer in his conclusions says that European sport is structured in a pyramid and the principle in which it is based would be harmed because the best clubs could leave that pyramid to create their own structure,” he said.

In Larumbe’s opinion, a closed league “would have a negative impact” because if the clubs “qualify” for the European competition “they have no incentive” in the national one. “From a sporting and economic point of view it would be negative and it goes against the principle of equal opportunities to qualify for the Champions League. There would be a reduction in income in the Champions League and that would affect grassroots football. The impression it gives is that it will They have tried to adapt to the European model because perhaps the one they have proposed is not the best”, he pointed out.

The ISC 2023, organized in a hybrid modality, face-to-face and by streaming, as a leading international congress in sports law and the sports industry, will address the Leading cases of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with the main prescribers and experts in the sector; the sustainable challenges faced by organizers of sporting events; the digitization process; the present and future of the professional leagues; the presence of women in the direction and management of sports organizations; the legal implications derived from the new Sports Law; the Agent Regulations and, among others, the new FIFA Code of Ethics.