UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has continued his war path against those who masterminded the doomed European Super League, including Andrea Agnelli, Ed Woodward and Florentino Perez.
A civil war within football threatened to break out after the 12 founding members announced their participation in the European Super League – a breakaway tournament that was set to replace the respective clubs’ European commitments with UEFA, such as the Champions League.
However, in a hectic 48 hours amid widespread revolt from fans across Europe, those plans were put to bed – with media and politicians even protesting against the ill-fated venture, which was backed by a £3.3billion investment fund secured by JP Morgan.
And Ceferin, who is the godfather to Agnelli’s daughter, has once again hit out at those who spearheaded the astonishing creation, which threatened to shake football to its core.
In an interview with Slovenian publication 24ur.com, Ceferin branded Agnelli, Woodward and Perez as ‘liars’ as he revealed the full extent of the Super League deceit.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has revealed the full extent of the Super League deceit
Ceferin revealed that Andrea Agnelli initially said to him that it was ‘bulls*** that the Super League was forming’
‘Five clubs called me on Saturday saying they had to join so they won’t get left out,’ Ceferin revealed.
‘Agnelli was saying it is bulls*** that the Super League is forming. I already knew it is so I said to him “Let’s give a PR statement then”. He said that is a great idea and told me to write it and send it to him to see. I did that, sent it and tried to call him again.
‘He didn’t pick up his phone. After a long time he did and said it is not really OK and he will fix a few things. After that he didn’t pick up the phone.’
Ceferin, who had originally called the 12 founding members ‘snakes’ for formulating the Super League, also hit out at Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Woodward, who rang him to say that he was happy with and supports plans to reform the Champions League and expand from 32 teams to 36.
Woodward became the first victim of the Super League on Tuesday night when it was announced that he would step down at the end of the season from his role in the wake of the immense backlash that followed.
Ceferin added: ‘Ed Woodward called me on Thursday and said he is very happy with the Champions League reform and he is excited to vote for it tomorrow. We know what happened after.’
And Ceferin didn’t stop there as he also slammed Real Madrid chief Perez, who on Wednesday night astonishingly refused to give up on the Super League after insisting all 12 clubs signed a ‘legally binding contract’.
Ceferin also tore into co-conspirators Ed Woodward and Florentino Perez for their involvement
‘Perez doesn’t like me because I won’t do exactly what he says,’ Ceferin continued. ‘He is after all a president of the Super League. A president of nothing.’
The 12 founding members included the Premier League’s Big Six – Man United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham – as well as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter.
But following mass protests all over Europe, the Super League had been suspended within 48 hours with the Premier League sides leading the way in withdrawing from the tournament.
However, Ceferin has admitted that he was shaken to his core by the act of betrayal from all 12 clubs, and even had to have a ‘double whiskey’ to get himself to sleep on Sunday night.
‘I had to have double whiskey so I was able to fall asleep on Sunday,’ Ceferin admitted. ‘Yesterday I had 3800 messages that I wasn’t able to respond to.
‘I learned that money is not everything. I learned that even the people that are the closest to you can be liars.’
Last Friday morning was expected to be a very important day for UEFA, with their competitions’ committee and the European Clubs Association (ECA) meeting to finalise plans for the Champions League revamp they had spent months arranging.
The Premier League’s Big Six were founding members of the doomed Super League
The ECA had meet, with all 12 of the to-be Super League clubs involved, to ‘set aside’ their differences over distribution of prize money and get the ball rolling for the Champions League revamp.
But behind the scenes the 12 founding members were trying to rubber-stamp the Super League.
On Friday afternoon, with the Super League still a secret, law firm Clifford Chance applied for a trademark for ‘The Super League’ and their new logo in Germany.
Chelsea and Manchester City soon after agreed to join the rebel group, and with that, the 12 clubs were ready to go it alone in Europe – without French and German champions PSG and Bayern Munich who rejected the invitation.
On Saturday afternoon, with murmurs becoming louder regarding the Super League, Ceferin wanted to speak to someone he trusted in Agnelli, who said there was nothing to worry about.
But just the morning after, ECA chairman Agnelli was leading the push away from European football’s traditional structure, which would later result in Ceferin calling him a ‘snake’.
Protests, including this one at Chelsea, were staged across Europe after the announcement of the Super League
Liverpool fans protest outside Anfield on Monday after the Super League was confirmed
Arsenal fans also hung banners outside the Emirates Stadium in protest at the proposals
Rumours continued to circulate throughout the day, and in the closing hours of Sunday, all 12 teams announced that they had signed up to the Super League.
But in less than 48 hours, the breakaway competition came to a shuddering halt following overwhelming backlash from fans, media and politicians, leaving those who masterminded the Super League extremely red-faced.
However despite the proposals falling flat on their face, Real Madrid president Perez has since extraordinarily refused to to back down in his defence of the disastrous breakaway competition.
In an interview with El Larguero’s Manu Carreno, Perez claimed a smear campaign was created to oppose the Super League after fierce backlash across Europe, saying claims that said the midweek competition would get rid of domestic leagues were not true.
Perez also doubled down on suggestions that the 12 founding members of the project have not left yet given that they have signed a legally ‘binding contract’, while suggesting several English teams could still feature in the competition.
Perez has extraordinarily refused to back down in his defence of the disastrous Super League