Italian soccer giants Juventus have requested to rejoin the European Club Association (ECA) continental representative body after withdrawing from plans to form a would-be European Super League (ESL) breakaway project.

Juventus had started the withdrawal process in 2023 – however, to complete the move they required authorization from Real Madrid and Barcelona, the two remaining teams still committed to the ESL.

The Turin-based team were one of 12 sides who had signed up to the breakaway project in early 2021 (which collapsed a few days after being launched), leading to all 12 being expelled from the ECA at that point. Juventus would be the tenth team to rejoin, leaving Barcelona and Real Madrid as the last two teams holding onto the ESL as a possibility.

ECA chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said, when confirming Juventus' move back into the ECA fold: "ECA's door is always open to clubs who believe in collective interests, progressive reform, and working constructively with all stakeholders."

Juventus' request to rejoin the ECA follows last week’s events where a Spanish court ordered FIFA and UEFA to halt their opposition to the controversial ESL, ruling that the governing bodies engaged in anti-competitive behavior and abused their dominant position.

In a court statement on May 27, the Madrid Commercial Court 17 ruled that the soccer organizations violated European Union law by banning clubs from participating in a proposed new competition.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The Spanish court’s decision represents another legal judgment ostensibly in favor win of A22, after a similar ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last December stated that FIFA and UEFA acted unlawfully by blocking clubs from joining the ESL.

The initial case was brought to the ECJ by the ESL organizers in June 2021 following the collapse of the project after only 48 hours in April before that.

The 2021 version of the ESL had been originally proposed by 12 elite European clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid from Spain; Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Liverpool from England; and Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan from Italy.

However, the concept was widely rejected by a vast majority of European soccer’s range of stakeholders, with one of the main bones of contention being the proposed closed-shop format, without promotion or relegation.

In February, A22 unveiled new ESL plans for a continent-wide competition featuring 60 to 80 clubs across multiple divisions.

The new plans came almost three years after the collapse of the initial project.

Despite the aforementioned court successes, the ESL faced a legal setback in March – after the EU’s trademark authority prevented it from registering its name, as Danish soccer’s top-tier Superliga already owns it.