UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has confirmed the 12 clubs involved in last week’s European Super League controversy will be punished.
However, Ceferin suggested the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ could be shown greater leniency after they were the first to pull out of plans for the breakaway competition.
Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham all pulled out following furious backlash from across the football world over attempts to create a ‘closed shop’ elite league.
But Ceferin compared Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus to ‘flat Earthers’ after they tried to cling on to the idea of the Super League, even after Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan also pulled out.
It is thought that Madrid, Barca and Juve could face the harshest punishments – which in theory could even include expulsion from next season’s Champions League.
Speaking to Mail on Sunday, Ceferin said:”Everyone has to take consequences for what they did and we cannot pretend nothing happened. You cannot do something like that and just say: ‘I’ve been punished because everybody hates me.’
“They don’t have problems because of anyone else but themselves. It’s not OK what they did and we will see in next few days what we have to do.
“But for me it’s a clear difference between the English clubs and the other six.
“They pulled out first, they admitted they made a mistake. You have to have some greatness to say: ‘I was wrong’.
“For me there are three groups of this 12 — the English Six, who went out first, then the other three [Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter] after them and then the ones who feel that Earth is flat and they think the Super League still exists.
“And there is a big difference between those. But everyone will be held responsible. In what way, we will see.
“I don’t want to say disciplinary process but it has to be clear that everyone has to be held responsible in a different way. Is it disciplinary? Is it the decision of the executive committee? We will see. It’s too early to say.”
Also, he said he is open to dropping the two extra Champions League spots that were to be reserved for clubs based on their historic record, which are set to be introduced as part of the competition’s revamp from the 2024/25 season.
That change could all the Premier League ‘s ‘Big Six’ qualify for the Champions League even if two of them didn’t make the top four in the Premier League.