The Super League soap opera continues. After the withdrawal of ten clubs out of the twelve involved in this project, reactions are raining in the world of football but also in politics. If the majority is delighted that this future competition falls apart, many stigmatize the behavior of certain leaders of the clubs concerned. And the president of Juventus Andrea Agnelli crystallizes the resentments of fans of the round ball but not only.
In an interview with The team, the president of Olympique Lyonnais Jean-Michel Aulas, also a member of the ECA, returned to the events which preceded the officialization of this Super League. The version of the main protagonist leaves one wary. Nothing foreshadowed indeed such a time bomb according to him.
Jean-Michel Aulas saw nothing coming
“I knew about this threat, but I never imagined it would result in what was inflicted on us. We had a “board” from the ECA, Sunday evening at 8:30 pm, where there was a front of immediate refusal on the part of those who were not concerned. Basically, most clubs disagreed. But in addition, the way was incredible because there had been a first board of the ECA, Friday morning, which had validated the last negotiation with UEFA on the Champions League. UEFA had accepted the main request of the ECA, which was to have shared governance to manage the European Cups. It was all the more incredible to see this Super League project come out ”, thus revealed the strong man of the Rhone club. A version which confirms that UEFA seemed ready to find common ground between all parties for its reform of the Champions League. Incredulous during the split caused by the twelve clubs in question, Jean-Michel Aulas then wondered about the strategy to adopt in the face of the creation of the Super League. Even if the president of OL procrastinated for a moment, it seemed impossible to him to join an ambitious project with such a divisive character.
“I wondered, as president of Olympique Lyonnais, if I had the right to neglect such an ‘opportunity’. I was convinced that it was necessary to refuse and say it, but on the other hand, I did not know if I had to affirm: we will never go. We were talking about such huge sums … The position of Nasser (al-Khelaïfi) helped me a lot. I was irritated at the time by the manner and the means implemented by the PSG. But from the moment Nasser resisted more than all the others, it showed that we had to follow the UEFA train and PSG. I called my main partner, Jérôme Seydoux (co-shareholder). We had a long conversation on Monday morning, where we decided to stand united. Moreover, the president of UEFA, in full congress, said he appreciated the resistance of Nasser for PSG, of myself for OL, and of Bayern, clubs which did not follow. in spite of the considerable amounts which were at stake. On Monday morning, I intervened during a new board of the ECA to say that we had to look at what had to be done so that this type of stories do not renew ”, loose Aulas. From now on, European football will have to recover after such an explosion. Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and Jean-Michel Aulas could well have a role to play in the world after …