Klopp: Good that ECJ gave UEFA, FIFA ‘a shake’

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has said that, while he is not in favour of the Super League project, he liked that Europe’s top court had given UEFA “a bit of a shake” when it ruled that the governing body has been “abusing a dominant position” in its control of European football.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on Thursday found that FIFA’s and UEFA’s rules requiring new football competitions to be subject to their prior approval were “unlawful.”

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Following the ruling, several of Europe’s top clubs released statements rejecting the creation of a new Super League, opting instead to make a public show of support for existing UEFA competitions.

“Yesterday’s ruling by the European Court of Justice does not change Liverpool FC’s previous stance on a proposed European Super League. Our involvement has been discontinued,” Liverpool said in a statement on Friday.

“We will continue to work with fellow clubs through the ECA and participate in UEFA competitions.”

Asked about the court’s decision in a news conference on Friday ahead of his team’s top-of-the-table clash against Arsenal, Klopp said: “I agree 100% with that statement [from Liverpool].

“But I am delighted we finally get a bit of an understanding that FIFA and UEFA and other bodies cannot just do what they want.

“In the future we have to talk about a lot of stuff and if we just do the things they do — like putting in more competitions and playing more games — and we don’t have a real say in it and on what is going on, I like that they get a bit of a shake.”

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis welcomed the ECJ ruling on the Super League project, adding that UEFA and FIFA do not understand the business of the sport and the need to grow club revenues.

“The Super League was a wrong move [when it was first launched in 2021], which however brought about this change. Now we need to do some serious thinking,” De Laurentiis told Corriere dello Sport.

“I spoke with [Real Madrid president] Florentino Perez and we agree to put some real entrepreneurs around the table, not just nominal presidents. Because today football is administered by elderly people, but above all they are without vision.”

De Laurentiis also criticised the governing bodies’ understanding of the financial realities of owning a football club that competes in Europe.

“Those who have governed up to now as monopolists have not understood that football is a business and needs growing revenues.

“If I invest hundreds of millions to participate in a circus that distributes peanuts, makes no profit and forces me to play more and more to keep an unproductive bandwagon going, the game is not worth it.”

Information from Reuters contributed to this report

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