Rangers fans are gearing up on an assault on the UEFA Champions League next season but should the club make it to the group stages, they could miss out on welcoming three of Europe’s biggest clubs to Ibrox.
That’s according to reports coming out of Italy which are claiming Serie A side Juventus and La Liga clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona could be banned due to their ongoing persistence with the failed European Super League.
La Reppublica are reporting that both FIFA and UEFA are set to ban all three sides from the Champions League next season for failing to renounce the proposals with the clubs expected to appeal the decision at Court of Arbitration for Sport.
This decision was then reportedly commented on by the La Liga president Javier Tebas who is said to have claimed “I believe Real Madrid & Barca will be banned from the UCL.”
The European Super League involved 15 of Europe’s top clubs forming a static, breakaway league worth billions which would concentrate football’s wealth into the hands of those involved.
Five other sides would be invited to join season-by-season.
This would replace the existing UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues and came amid controversial reforms to the Champions League which will now see one team qualify for the tournament despite failing to do so through their domestic divisions.
The proposals experienced a relentless backlash from both UEFA and so-called “legacy fans” at these clubs as billionaire owners were told where to go with a series of protests.
All six of the English clubs involved pulled out and were followed by Inter Milan, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid.
The three teams remaining are the major proponents of the proposals and are set to feel the wrath of UEFA for their continuing reluctance to give them up.
The other nine clubs – AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – will all pay around £12.9m to FIFA, which will be distributed to grassroots football.
Rangers fans will be disappointed not to see these three clubs in the competition but the prospect of returning amongst Europe’s elite can see them pull away from their rivals next year.