REAL MADRID, Barcelona and Juventus are facing two-year Champions League bans – after Uefa launched a formal disciplinary probe into the failed Super League plot.
Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin is determined to make the three rebel leaders pay a heavy price unless they dissolve the breakaway competition.
That means two-season bans from playing in any European competitions is on the Uefa agenda.
And Ceferin demonstrated he is playing hardball by giving the green light to the next stage of Uefa processes.
In a statement, Euro chiefs in Nyon announced: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors have today been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework by Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project.
“Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course.”
That article relates to the absolute power and discretion of the Uefa President, general secretary or the ruling executive committee to launch disciplinary proceedings.
The confirmation of action is proof of Ceferin’s desire to make the three rebel clubs publicly recant and apologise for their attempts to broker the elite ESL competition.
Ceferin publicly welcomed the withdrawal and apologies by the Prem Big Six, along with Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter.
They were hit on Friday by agreeing to each pay £1.44m up front and then five per cent of their next season’s Uefa competition earnings, taking the potential fine to £7m.
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But there will be no further action and the nine clubs will be welcomed back into the Uefa fold and allowed to rejoin the European Club Association.
Madrid, Barca and Juve, though, have refused to fall into line and accused Uefa of applying 'unacceptable pressure, threats and offence' to make them 'abandon the project'.
The trio said Uefa’s actions were 'intolerable under the rule of law' but the very real threat of missing out on more than £250m of income over two years may be enough to bring them to heel.
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