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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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Premier League’s ‘big six’ to avoid sanctions over plotting Super League breakaway

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur scarves – PA

Premier League clubs involved in the Super League furore no longer need to pay Uefa fines after the governing body dropped court action against the three remaining breakaway rebels. European football’s authority will announce early on Tuesday that it has abandoned Madrid court proceedings against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, Telegraph Sport understands.

As a result, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal can all keep the money they previously pledged to pay Uefa for the chaos inflicted on the game in April.

Senior figures within Uefa have taken the position that a long and protracted court battle will be counterproductive, especially during attempts to fight Fifa’s plot to introduce a World Cup every two years.

The announcement comes a week after a Spanish judge told the governing body to confirm it will abide by the court’s ruling to not punish the three remaining rebels.

Real, Barcelona and Juventus had been facing a potential ban from the Champions League for refusing to renounce the project that was launched by 12 clubs in April before collapsing within 48 hours.

But Uefa put a hold on its disciplinary case against the rebel clubs after the Spanish court ruled in April that they could not be punished by Switzerland-based Uefa and Fifa. Their case was also notified by the judge in Madrid to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Despite the decision to abandon the court process, Uefa is expected to underline its commitment to “to do whatever is necessary to stop the ESL and any form of breakaway league”. Uefa has reserved the right to restart legal proceedings if any breakaway was mooted again.

As part of the decision, Uefa will commit to contact the other nine clubs – including the Premier League’s so-called “Big Six – to tell them it will not be pursuing any payments related to their association plans.

The former rebel clubs had already agreed to a financial settlement with Uefa, accepting fines as an acknowledgement of wrongdoing for trying to split from existing competition structures. They were due to make a combined payment of €15 million and also give up 5 per cent of revenue for one season playing in Europe.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal also accepted a suspended £25 million fine and a 30-point deduction if they join another breakaway.

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