LaLiga president Javier Tebas pleaded for a more sustainable level of spending across football as he refused to take the blame for Lionel Messi's departure from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi left his only senior side Barca to join PSG on a free transfer after the Catalan club were unable to offer him a contract due to LaLiga's spending restrictions.

Barca's salary cap was cut to €97million this season due to a combination of their lavish prior outlay and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Messi instead headed for big-spending PSG in France, but Tebas believes Ligue 1, along with Serie A, should follow LaLiga in keeping a closer eye on finances.

He suggested LaLiga needed its fellow 'top five' leagues to stay afloat in order to ensure the European Super League, proposed last season before a swift collapse, does not return.

Faced with financial difficulties, Barca, Real Madrid and Juventus remained committed to the Super League project, even as their domestic rivals and the Premier League's 'big six' backtracked.

"Is the transfer of Messi to PSG my fault? Obviously not," Tebas said, speaking at the Festival dello Sport. "We need sustainability in football. It is a special sector, football is passion and belonging, but in recent years it has become a business.

"Serie A has been at a loss for 20 years, what matters is the total balance. This also happens in France, not in Germany and not from us.

"What did we have to do to be sustainable? The competition must be regulated by some rules; otherwise, teams like PSG will arrive and invest €400m in a single summer. They have very high salaries; this leads to inflation.

"It is not our fault that Messi has not renewed his contract; we have a salary cap in LaLiga, a rule approved by all the teams, and this is what makes LaLiga sustainable. If there were such controls also in Italy and France, there would be no more losses.

"The economic solidity of the other leagues is also fundamental for Spain: if there are no strong leagues, the risk of the Super League is always high.

"I have said it many times to [Juventus chief] Andrea Agnelli: 'Do you want to go to the Super League where Real Madrid and Barcelona will earn more and more than you?'"

As well as the Super League, Tebas is opposed to the idea of a biennial World Cup put forward by Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager and FIFA's chief of global football development.

The LaLiga boss was frustrated FIFA had not first involved the leagues.

"Football has a problem with governance," he said. "FIFA wants to change the international calendar with a unilateral decision. This has an impact on the leagues.

"If you want to take a decision with an impact on domestic leagues, the FIFA Council cannot just take the decision with the Solomon Islands voting, too. With UEFA, we have reached an agreement with the leagues.

"The biennial World Cup will have an impact on the revenues of clubs like Torino and other Italian clubs, no doubt about that.

"Leagues cannot just be consulted in the decision-making, they need to be part of the decision."

Javier Tebas has declared there cannot be any negotiation for a European Super League, despite LaLiga's biggest clubs continuing to back the breakaway competition.

Real Madrid and Barcelona, along with 10 other European clubs, including LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid, announced in April their intention to form a new league.

The project was swiftly shot down, with UEFA, European governments, other clubs and fans condemning the proposal.

Under significant pressure, the six Premier League clubs involved – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - quickly withdrew their interest, with Atleti, Inter and Milan all following suit.

However, Madrid and Barca, along with Juventus, remained involved in the project, with Los Blancos president Florentino Perez insisting European football needed the Super League.

UEFA's attempts to punish the rebel clubs have come to an end, with European football's governing body abandoning legal proceedings in September.

Despite the project seemingly lingering on, LaLiga chief Tebas insisted the breakaway cannot be allowed to happen, and is confident the idea is already a "dead issue".

"A Super League is not negotiable," he told Spanish radio show El Partidazo.

"Nor that the big clubs have to dominate national and international football. It is not the future. Any step that one gives there is yielding ownership.

"I do not give any chance of success to a Super League. In England they realised they were wrong. In Germany more of the same. The Super League is a dead issue."

Tebas also opened up on his relationship with Madrid president Perez, who he believes is the only one convinced by the Super League proposal.

"I haven't been to live football for a long time," Tebas added. "Why don't I go to the Bernabeu box? Florentino invites me to all the games at the Bernabeu.

"Peace with Florentino? I don't know. From a professional football perspective it is impossible for us to understand each other because we have two very different visions.

"The only one who is convinced of the Super League is Florentino. Neither [Barca president Joan] Laporta nor [Juve counterpart Andrea] Agnelli are.

"I have no doubt that if Florentino could, he would remove me from the league's presidency. In institutional politics, Madrid is making mistakes, they are making many enemies."

Juventus revealed annual losses of €209.9million as the Italian giants defended their involvement at the forefront of the failed European Super League project.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic saw income plummet for the Serie A club during the 2020-21 financial year, Juventus said on Friday.

Juventus said it had covered the losses with its share premium reserve, meaning the club's overall net debt stood at €389.2million, just €4million higher than at the end of the previous year.

The Turin club had reported annual losses of €89.7million for 2019-20, and the club said it estimated "direct and indirect adverse effects" of the pandemic from March 2020 to June 2022 to amount to €320milion, based on an assumption that economic normality would steadily resume.

Juventus, who expect to post " a significant loss" for 2021-22, said the club's board had "decided to start the process for a capital increase of up to €400million, including any share premium, to be offered to the company’s shareholders".

Since the end of the last financial year, Juventus have allowed star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the club for Manchester United, collecting a transfer fee and saving significant sums on his salary.

Together with Barcelona and Real Madrid, Juventus have continued to back proposals for a Super League, despite widespread opposition to the scheme when it was revealed in April.

Where most clubs backed away from the project within days amid a wave of criticism, including the six English Premier League clubs involved, Juventus remain apparently keen for it to get off the ground.

Club chairman Andrea Agnelli was a prime figure behind bringing the concept together and Juventus included a section in their financial statement, in which they stood by their belief in the "legitmacy" of such a league.

The club described the Super League as an "alternative to the UEFA competitions but not to national leagues and cups".

The Juventus statement said: "As at today, it is not possible to predict with certainty the outcome and future development of the Super League project, of the legitimacy of which Juventus remains confident."

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has defended Real Madrid's attempts to sign Kylian Mbappe despite football's wider economic struggles, adamant their conduct pales in comparison to that of Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid president Florentino Perez was at the forefront of the European Super League scandal earlier this year, as a group of elite clubs attempted to form a closed breakaway competition.

Perez said their intention was to "save" football, convinced the sport was financially unsustainable in its current form, but plans quickly unravelled when the English clubs involved pulled out.

Yet, despite talk of football's doom, Madrid lodged bids for Mbappe in the most recent transfer window, with their offers thought to have started at €160million – only the Frenchman himself (€180m) and PSG team-mate Neymar (€222m) have ever cost more.

Nevertheless, Madrid have raised significant capital through sales over the past four years, turning a profit in transfer fees in three of the five seasons dating back to the start of 2017-18.

As such, Tebas sees little cause for concern over the financial state of Madrid, but he cannot see them having a transfer window like that of PSG, who brought in Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos and Nuno Mendes.

Speaking at a sponsorship news conference, Tebas told reporters: "I said that Spanish football is not ruined, neither Madrid nor Barcelona.

"There are at least 80 per cent of clubs in Europe that have it much worse. Regarding Real Madrid, I think they have been the club that's been better managed through the pandemic, with enormous rigor in their salary spending. Real Madrid has the capacity to do what they want.

"They can never be PSG, because PSG cheats. They have a salary expense close to €600m, which is impossible. Madrid are not a state club either, so they can't."

Talk of Spanish football's demise intensified following Barcelona's latest comprehensive Champions League defeat on Tuesday, losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou, while Sevilla stuttered to a 1-1 draw at home to Salzburg.

For Barca, it was the first time since Opta records began (2003-04) that they had failed to get a shot on target in a Champions League game, and Bayern's superiority condemned Ronald Koeman's men to three successive home defeats in the competition for the first time.

Prior to 2020-21, Barca had only ever lost two Champions League home games by three or more goals but that has occurred three times since – with Messi no longer there, many would expect their standard to plummeting further.

But Tebas insists the odd Champions League result does not necessarily mean anything, pointing out the Premier League arguably enjoyed its greatest period of growth during a European trophy drought.

"There is still a lot of the Champions League to go," he continued. "Last year it was the same and then everyone went through to the knockout phase.

"The level of LaLiga does not depend on a few Champions League games. When the Premier League grew the most, it was in a phase of six years without winning the main elite competition."

Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid have stated their intention to press on with the European Super League after a court protected them against UEFA disciplinary proceedings relating to the project's ill-fated launch earlier this year.

On Friday, the mercantile court in Madrid threw out UEFA's appeal against its ruling earlier this month that stated disciplinary proceedings concerned with the founding 12 Super League clubs must be scrapped.

The Spanish pair and Italian giants welcomed the decision against what they termed "UEFA threats" and condemned European football's governing body for its "monopolistic position" over its governance of the game in a joint statement.

The case will now be assessed by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

"FC Barcelona, Juventus, and Real Madrid CF welcome today's court's decision enforcing, with immediate effect, UEFA's obligation to unwind the actions taken against all European Super League founding clubs, including terminating the disciplinary proceedings against the undersigning three clubs and removing the penalties and restrictions imposed on the remaining nine founding clubs for them to avoid UEFA's disciplinary action," the statement read.

"The court backs the request made by the promoters of the European Super League, dismisses UEFA's appeal, and confirms its warning to UEFA that failure to comply with its ruling shall result in fines and potential criminal liability."

The statement continued: "Our aim is to keep developing the Super League project in a constructive and cooperative manner, always counting on all football stakeholders: fans, players, coaches, clubs, leagues, and national and international associations.

"We are aware that there are elements of our proposal that should be reviewed and, of course, can be improved through dialogue and consensus. We remain confident in the success of a project that will be always compliant with European Union laws."

The proposed Super League format guaranteed participation for its 12 founders but quickly prompted outrage across the footballing world in April.

With the Premier League clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal – pulling out, Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid soon followed.

Those nine clubs each agreed to pay €15million in support of European grassroots football initiatives and cede five per cent of their revenues from UEFA club competitions in the forthcoming season after reconciliation talks with the governing body.

Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid did not stand down, prompting a UEFA investigation and the launch of disciplinary proceedings in May that were expected to yield harsher punishments.

Friday's ruling in the Spanish capital effectively renders all of those measures void. UEFA is yet to comment on the latest developments.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez claimed comments where he allegedly criticised Iker Casillas and Raul have been "taken out of the context".

Perez's controversial remarks came from an audio recording in 2006 that was leaked on Tuesday and published in Spanish newspaper El Confidencial.

At that time Perez had just left his position as Madrid president and in the audio he appears to at least partially link the influence held by the two players to his exit.

He is reported to have opined Casillas was not good enough to play in goal for Madrid while questioning the huge influence held by Raul.

Perez, who returned as Madrid's president in 2009, reckoned his support of the European Super League was the motivation behind the leaked audio.

In a statement released by Real Madrid, Perez said: "Given the story in El Confidencial, in which comments are attributed to me, I think it's necessary to clarify.

"The comments were made in conversation with D. Jose Antonio [Abellan], who has been unsuccessfully trying to sell them for years. It's surprising that given the time that has passed, they have appeared today in the newspaper El Confidencial.

"The comments are taken out of the context in which they were made. That they are reproduced now, after so many years, I believe is due to my role as one of the promoters of the European Super League.

"I have placed the issue in the hands of my lawyers who are studying possible legal action."

Former striker Raul is Madrid's all-time record appearance holder with 741 and was their leading goalscorer with 323 until that total was eclipsed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who found the net 450 times for Los Blancos.

Raul is currently coach of Madrid's reserve team.

Ex-goalkeeper Casillas is just behind Raul with 725 appearances and won all the major club titles during a 25-year stint with Madrid.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has stated the breakaway European Super League is "dead", deeming the controversial concept "impossible" after nine of the 12 clubs involved pulled out.

The announcement of the planned competition led to a huge backlash, including from governing bodies, rival clubs, fans, players and media, leading to the majority of the teams that had signed up making a quick U-turn.

UEFA issued fines to Atletico Madrid, Inter, Milan, and the six Premier League clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - but a court ruling meant disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, the three founding members yet to cut ties with the Super League, had to be halted.

A preliminary injunction was granted by a judge in Spain, with the case heading to the European Court of Justice.

Barca president Joan Laporta recently said his own club will not apologise for "wanting to be the owners of our own destiny", while he also insisted the project remains very much alive.

However, speaking on a media call on Wednesday, Tebas made clear Barca are incorrect to make such an assessment, considering the mass exodus.

"I've spoken with Barca executives in recent days. They believe they should keep doing what they're doing and I think they're wrong," Tebas said. 

"The concept of the Super League is impossible. Nine of the twelve clubs have asked to dissolve the company they founded."

He added: "The model they're defending, without the English clubs... I think it's dead.

"Laporta says the courts have said they're in the right, but that's not true, it's one judge in Madrid and an injunction.

"I've tried to convince them that they're wrong and should work along other lines."

Tebas was also asked about Lionel Messi's future, making clear Barca will not be allowed any leeway in terms of LaLiga's salary cap to make sure the superstar remains at Camp Nou.

Barcelona have already been busy in the transfer market as they reshape their squad, adding forward duo Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay on free transfers, as well as centre-back Eric Garcia.

"LaLiga has its rules and Barca know that. They know that they have to lower their salary costs by a lot," said Tebas, who hopes to have stadiums 60 per cent full when the 2021-22 season begins, despite the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Messi is the same as Sergio Aguero or anyone else that they are adding. We will not make any exception for Messi to stay here."

Joan Laporta insists Barcelona will not apologise for "wanting to be the owners of our own destiny" in am impassioned defence of the doomed European Super League.

The contentious project failed to get off the ground after nine of the 12 founding members pulled out amid a furious backlash to competition.

Last month, UEFA issued fines to Atletico Madrid, Inter, Milan, and the six Premier League teams involved but a court ruling meant disciplinary proceedings against Barca, Real Madrid and Juventus – the three teams yet to cut ties with the Super League – had to be halted.

Barca president Laporta remains adamant the Super League will still go ahead in some guise in the future as he issued a note of defiance when addressing the club's general assembly, where he explained a vote on participation in the competition was no longer necessary as the format no longer existed.

"We spoke with the clubs [involved] and said we liked [the proposals], but that we needed them to accept that our members would have to approve entry at the next assembly," Laporta said.

"It was logical to have that vote before June 30. But now, as the format doesn't exist, I won't ask you to vote. But the project is alive, I insist.

"We're still trying to enter into dialogue with UEFA. We won't apologise for trying to organise a competition. We won't say sorry to UEFA for wanting to be the owners of our own destiny. At least not while I am president."

Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham had all signed up as participants from the Premier League.

Laporta suggested the English teams may now be rueing their decision to withdraw.

"The English clubs were the competition's driving force and they got scared under pressure from UEFA," he added.

"I think they regret leaving the Super League now, seeing how UEFA have backtracked on their threats."

Laporta claimed the Super League would have been worth "€700m in addition to variables" for Barca, a sum that would have helped boost the coffers of a club reportedly over €1.2billion in debt.

On Sunday, a vote agreed to accept a loan from Goldman Sachs worth up to €525million, money that Laporta insists will not be used on transfers.

"We're talking about the viability of the club," Laporta said prior to members voting. 

"No one should think that this money will be for signings or other projects. We have to stop the bleeding."

Disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid for their involvement in the European Super League have been halted.

UEFA had opened an investigation into the trio after their role in the breakaway competition, which was met with widespread backlash as plans crumbled within 48 hours of being announced.

On Wednesday the European governing body released a statement to confirm that its appeals body had decided to stay the proceedings.

"Following the opening of disciplinary proceedings against FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and Real Madrid CF for a potential violation of UEFA's legal framework in connection with the so-called 'Super League' project, the UEFA Appeals Body has decided to stay the proceedings until further notice," the statement read.

The closed-shop Super League would have guaranteed yearly entry to its founder clubs, who could be joined by a small group of select guest teams.

The six Premier League clubs who signed up subsequently pulled out and have been warned against a repeat of their rebellion.

A joint statement from the Premier League and Football Association said they will face 30-point deductions and fines of £25million if they sign up to any similar proposals.

UEFA's proceedings against Barca, Real and Juve were launched late last month, with heavy punishments expected for the trio.

Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli has been seen as a driving force behind the organisation of the tournament, which was announced on April 18 before quickly descending into farce.

In response to the appeals body's decision to issue a stay, UEFA released a statement outlining its intent to "defend its position".

"UEFA understands why the disciplinary proceedings needed to be suspended for the time being, but remains confident in and will continue to defend its position in all the relevant jurisdictions," it read.

"The legitimacy of sports disciplinary procedures, with the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, has long been recognised as being essential to the uniform administration of justice in sport.

"The European Court of Human Rights, EU Courts and the Swiss Federal Tribunal have repeatedly ruled that disciplinary/arbitration rules are justified by legitimate interests linked to the specific nature of the sport. UEFA, therefore, acted in accordance with not only its Statutes and Regulations, but also with EU law, the European Convention on Human Rights and Swiss law in opening an independent investigation into the conduct of the clubs associated with this so-called 'Super League' project.

"UEFA will take all necessary steps in strict accordance with national and EU law in order for the UEFA Appeals Body to be in a position to resume the disciplinary proceedings as soon as possible."

The Premier League's 'big six' will face 30-point deductions and fines of £25million if they sign up to another breakaway competition following the European Super League farce.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham were six of the 12 founding members behind an attempted closed-shop competition that was announced back in April.

The Super League would have guaranteed yearly entry to its founder clubs, who could be joined by a small group of select guest teams.

But the tournament imploded within 48 hours after a huge public backlash led to the six English clubs rescinding their involvement.

While UEFA praised those who accepted they had made a mistake, in early May the governing body confirmed they were to be hit with a five per cent sacrifice of their European competition revenue plus a collective £13m donation to the organisation.

A Club Commitment Declaration was also signed, with the agreement including fines of up to £87m for each team as a deterrent against any future rebellion.

Although reports initially suggested the other 14 Premier League clubs were divided on sanctions, the competition has now outlined its own punishments, which include a similar commitment to avoid future threats of a breakaway.

Firstly, a combined settlement figure of £22m will be paid to the Premier League, but if any of the big six sign up to another similar competition, they will be liable to pay £25m each and face 30-point deductions as per the agreement.

A joint statement from the Premier League and Football Association read: "The six clubs involved in proposals to form a European Super League have today acknowledged once again that their actions were a mistake, and have reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League and the future of the English game.

"They have wholeheartedly apologised to their fans, fellow clubs, the Premier League and the FA.

"As a gesture of goodwill, the clubs have collectively agreed to make a contribution of £22million which will go towards the good of the game, including new investment in support for fans, grassroots football and community programmes.

"Furthermore, the clubs have agreed to support rule changes so that any similar actions in the future would lead to a 30-point deduction. Each of the six clubs, in that event, was also be subject to an additional £25million fine.

"The Premier League and the FA have worked closely together throughout this process and this agreement brings both investigations into the matter to a conclusion."

Manchester United executive co-chairman Joel Glazer has pledged to "invest in the transfer market" and promised supporters they will have a more significant voice in how the club is run. 

Glazer attended his first fans' forum meeting since his family took over the Premier League giants in 2005 and laid out his plans for how the club intends to improve dialogue and consultation with supporters.  

Glazer attended the meeting after United supporters were left furious by the club's decision to sign up for the doomed European Super League in April.

That led to protests before United's Premier League clash with Liverpool on May 2, with a group of fans breaking into Old Trafford and invading the pitch.

The game was ultimately postponed and replayed 11 days later, United suffering a 4-2 defeat to their bitter rivals. 

A fans' forum had put a four-point plan to Glazer and asked for a fan share scheme giving supporters voting rights, support for a fan-led government review, the appointment of independent directors to the board, and regular consultation with season ticket holders on major decisions.

Those proposals appear to have been taken on board by the club, with Glazer announcing the creation of a fan advisory board to consult with the club's senior leadership and owners, in addition to a strengthened fans' forum.

The board will be made up of representatives from the forum and key fan groups to ensure the fans' perspective is embedded within the club's decision-making processes, a statement on the United website said.

Glazer also outlined plans for a fan share scheme, which will involve a new class of shares that carry the same voting rights as the shares owned by the Glazer family.

The statement said "this would establish a foundation for supporters to build a meaningful ownership stake and create a new spirit of partnership with the club".

Speaking at the meeting, Glazer said: "Our goal is to win every competition we compete in, and we will continue to invest in our academy and in the transfer market to support the manager in an effort to meet the club's goals.  

"As a club we have devoted a lot of time and resources over the last several years updating and further developing our vast global scouting network to adapt to the modern football environment. This is a project that should provide a foundation for long-term success in the years to come. 

"Old Trafford is at the heart of Manchester United and while we have spent over £100million over the last 10 years on infrastructure projects, we will now accelerate the process of planning much more significant investment and upgrades to the stadium.

"Rest assured, we will consult with supporters throughout the process to end up with a result we can all be proud of.

"The same goes for our training ground.  Preliminary planning work is already under way and there will be significant funding available to further enhance our facilities and ensure they remain world class."

Juventus chairman and vice-chairman of the proposed European Super League Andrea Agnelli insists the attempted breakaway from UEFA was a "desperate cry for help" rather than a "coup".

Agnelli previously served as an executive and chairman of the European Club Association, an independent body that represents football clubs at a continental level, acting as a "voice" for teams and key stakeholder in the landscape of the game internationally.

But the 45-year-old stepped down from the ECA in April as he officially became a key figure for the Super League, a breakaway, closed-shop competition that threatened the competitive nature of European football.

Juve were one of 12 clubs to be announced as founding members of the league, but a backlash quickly led to the withdrawal of all six English clubs involved, followed by Atletico Madrid, Inter and Milan.

Juve, Real Madrid and Barcelona have stood firm and affirmed their commitment to radical change, a stance that has subsequently seen UEFA open disciplinary proceedings against all three.

Agnelli addressed the media on Friday in a news conference arranged to bid farewell to sporting director Fabio Paratici, who is reportedly close to joining Tottenham, and the Juve chief again stressed the need for reform.

"For years I have tried to change European competitions from the inside, because the signs of crisis were evident even before the pandemic," he told reporters.

"The Super League is not a coup, but a desperate cry of help for a system that, knowingly or not, is heading towards insolvency.

"The agreement between the founders [of the Super League] was conditional on UEFA's prior recognition of the competition. The response was deafening, with offensive terms and arrogant methods, and then it turned to three clubs.

"It is not with this type of behaviour that football is reformed in the face of this crisis. Fortunately, I know that not everyone in UEFA feels the same way. The desire for dialogue, however, remains unchanged.

"Other sports have faced changes of this type, and almost all stakeholders agree that the model needs to be changed.

"Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid are determined to achieve a complete reform of the competitions, and above all, in the interest of the clubs that show us fear for this situation."

UEFA has begun disciplinary proceedings against European giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus over their role in the collapsed Super League.

The announcement from European football's governing body could result in heavy punishments for Spanish titans Barca and Madrid and Italian heavyweights Juventus.

UEFA said in a statement: "Following an investigation conducted by UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspectors in connection with the so-called 'Super League' project, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC for a potential violation of UEFA's legal framework.

"Further information will be made available in due course."

Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli has been seen as a driving force behind the organisation of the tournament, which was announced on April 18 but fell apart just 48 hours later when the six English teams that had entered all withdrew.

The proposed competition guaranteed participation for the 12 founding teams.

But the anti-competitive tournament prompted outrage around the football world, and pressure from fans, players, coaches, governing bodies, governments and the media soon told.

Once the Premier League clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea – pulled out, it was clear the project would not be viable.

Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid soon followed.

However, there has been reluctance from Juve, Barca and Madrid to let the Super League die.

Amid urging from UEFA and others to back away from the project, those clubs collaborated on May 8 to defend their actions.

The three clubs stated: "The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offences to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue.

"This is intolerable under the rule of law and tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending."

They stressed that "structural reforms are vital to ensure our sport remains appealing and survives in the long-term."

Madrid, Barca and Juve claim the Super League provided "a unique opportunity to offer fans around the world the best possible show and to reinforce global interest in the sport".

UEFA has begun disciplinary proceedings against European giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus over their role in the collapsed Super League.

The announcement from European football's governing body could result in heavy punishments for Spanish titans Barca and Madrid and Italian heavyweights Juventus.

UEFA said in a statement: "Following an investigation conducted by UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspectors in connection with the so-called 'Super League' project, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC for a potential violation of UEFA's legal framework.

"Further information will be made available in due course."

Gianni Infantino has denied FIFA colluded with clubs on the controversial Super League but stopped short of saying there had been no talks about the project.

The president of world football's governing body spoke out on Friday after the FIFA congress, describing the Super League attempted breakaway as "a rupture" in the game.

Asked whether FIFA had any involvement in the Super League planning or if it had offered support, Infantino gave a nine-minute response in which he said it was his job to always listen to anybody in the game considering a new format.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas recently accused Infantino of encouraging the Super League, but the FIFA chief rebutted that claim.

"Let me tell you that when we are analysing these questions, we should look at the facts and not rumours or corridor gossip, especially not coming from certain parts," Infantino said.

The proposed new competition was announced and quashed in the space of around 48 hours in April, a breath-taking episode that saw players, coaches, supporter groups, national associations, politicians and even royalty express dismay at the closed-door concept.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham announced they would be taking part, as did Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid from LaLiga, and Serie A giants Juventus, Milan and Inter also signed up. The project, a major threat to the UEFA Champions League, collapsed dramatically, but there are some who expect it to be revived.

"I know many clubs," Infantino told reporters in a conference call. "I speak with clubs for many years, since my days at UEFA, and when speaking to European clubs the Super League topic always is a topic for discussion.

"Everyone in football knows that, so let's not play games here. Everyone in football knows for years clubs have been studying and preparing for this or similar projects.

"In the 16 years I was in UEFA we always managed that, and I can tell you there were projects that were far more advanced than the one we have seen recently.

"At FIFA it is also my responsibility and our responsibility to discuss with football stakeholders. Now to listen to some clubs and to speak with some clubs doesn't certainly mean in any way whatsoever that FIFA was behind, was colluding, was plotting or I don't know what words you used for any Super League project."

Infantino pointed to a FIFA statement issued in January that said a breakaway competition would not be recognised by the world body.

"In that moment, the rupture was of course becoming inevitable and the rupture is never good, it's not good for anyone," Infantino said on Friday. "No war is good – never. We are ready to defend football from projects we know are wrong."

He added: "I don't close the doors to any discussion with anyone – never – about new formats, new ideas, new competitions. I'm ready to listen to everyone.

"This is my job ... the way I live the presidency of FIFA.

"I'm aware some people prefer to spin these discussions in a different way and I can understand that attacking me or FIFA is a good way to divert the attention from real problems that have never been addressed in the last years."

Infantino did not specify his target for that remark, but said: "I hope that as of today we can move to the real issues that football is facing."

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