A Spanish judge has lifted measures that prevented UEFA and FIFA from taking action against clubs that wanted to create a European Super League.
In the ruling, published on Thursday, the commercial court in Madrid said it was lifting measures that had been adopted in April last year as even if clubs were punished by FIFA and UEFA it would not stop them going ahead with their Super League plans.
Of the 12 clubs that originally backed the breakaway Super League, only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remain.
The three clubs did not respond when contacted for comment. World soccer's governing body FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA also did not comment. Newspaper AS reported that the Super League would appeal the decision.
The proposed league threatened to upend the long-established order of elite soccer in Europe by guaranteeing its founding clubs places, rather than making them qualify through their domestic competitions.
Judge Sofia Gil Garcia wrote in her ruling that at the time of the project's development, the Super League clubs were "perfectly aware of the possible consequences, which did not prevent the adoption of financing commitments, which cannot be assumed or presumed to be frustrated by possible sanctions".
Last April, a different judge said that FIFA and UEFA must not adopt "any measure that prohibits, restricts, limits or conditions in any way" the creation of the Super League.
That decision came after both UEFA and FIFA warned they would impose sanctions on clubs and players competing in the new league, which was being set up as a rival to UEFA's established Champions League.