The UEC endorses ECJ ruling for a fairer future in European football

The Union of European Clubs welcomes ECJ decision confirming UEFA's crucial regulatory role in safeguarding fair and balanced competition in European football

December 21, 2023



News and media releases

The entire football ecosystem, including players, coaches, leagues, federations, clubs, and most importantly, the fans have already spoken out loud and clear against the European Super League, a model that perpetuates the participation of a privileged few, restricting the pinnacle of European football to an elite. Anything less than a fully open model, with direct access only from the domestic leagues, season by season, is a closed format, which runs counter to the European values of the sport. Consequently, the UEC strongly opposes segregated competitions that undermine these principles and jeopardise the stability of the sports ecosystem in general.

The ruling and the reference in para 144 of the judgment to “sporting merit and equal opportunities”reiterates the importance of a football ecosystem that is balanced and inclusive and offers UEFA the opportunity to further develop governance, decision making processes and a robust, clearly defined prior authorisation system in line with EU law. European football has historically moved forward on the basis of establishing consensus and the UEC sees the coming period as one of positive evolution. UEFA will have the foresight to seek accommodation with all the stakeholders and to reassert its position of authority and protect positive initiatives such as the UEC.

The UEC will continue to advocate for legitimate objectives recognised by EU law and sports policy goals with the aim of improving competitive balance, such as new financial solidarity rules, an improved system of revenue distribution and a balanced access system to European competitions to avert a breakaway league by elite clubs and help preserve the traditional community values of European football.

The UEC believes that a system where contributions are balanced and proportionate, and where all clubs have a fair chance to compete and thrive, aligns with the broader conclusions of the ECJ ruling and the shared values of the European football community.

The UEC remains committed to working collaboratively with UEFA, EU institutions, and all stakeholders to address these new challenges. Together, we can harness this moment of legal and regulatory clarification to innovate, adapt, and ensure that European football continues to thrive under a governance model that protects and respects its heritage while embracing necessary changes for a sustainable and inclusive future.

Download the press release