A request for a quick decision on whether UEFA's blocking of the Super League breached European competition law has reportedly been rejected.
A Madrid court had asked the European Court of Justice to consider whether UEFA had broken EU law by first trying to thwart the breakaway league’s formation, and then by opening disciplinary proceedings against three of its founder members – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.
The ECJ will still consider the matter, but not on the expedited basis that had been requested.
It is understood this means that a ruling in Madrid in early July to annul disciplinary proceedings against those clubs – and peace agreements involving the other nine – cannot be enacted yet as a result, and means hopes of getting the Super League back on track quickly have been dashed.
UEFA’s appeals body announced last month that proceedings against the three clubs had been stayed, which remains the case following the ECJ’s rejection of an expedited decision.
UEFA promised a "robust" defence of its position in a statement on 31 May, when it noted the announcement from the ECJ that it had received a referral from a court in Madrid.
Super League sources are confident of their case too, and believe the decision would have as seismic an impact on the structure of European club competition as the 1995 Bosman ruling had on the transfer market and player contracts.
Twelve clubs announced themselves as founder members of the Super League on April 18, but the competition had collapsed within 72 hours after nine of the clubs withdrew amid fan protest, opposition from UEFA, FIFA and domestic leagues and even the British Government.
The Premier League’s 'Big Six’ agreed last month to make a combined goodwill payment of just over £22million to support grassroots and community projects, and that if any one of those clubs attempted such a move again they would be docked 30 points and fined £25million.
A similar arrangement was reached with UEFA in May.