European Super League Fallout, Now in a New York Court

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The implications of the court rulings could lead to a significant change in the decades-long organization of soccer in Europe, and to new legal fights: UEFA has insisted it will resume its efforts to punish the clubs once it has the legal right do so.

Ceferin reminded Stillitano of that in his reply.

“I have heard about your ‘business’ with the three clubs,” Ceferin said in the text message, which was included in Stillitano’s lawsuit. “Those clubs didn’t ‘cause issues with UEFA.’ They tried to destroy UEFA, football and me personally. It’s a shame that you don’t understand it. The fact that you work with them means that me, UEFA or anyone I can have influence on will not have any business or private relation with you until you’re on the other side.”

Stillitano’s lawyers described Ceferin’s message as “threatening.”

“It became clear that Ceferin and UEFA — and by extension their new partner, Relevent — were declaring war on Stillitano for considering an affiliation with the three teams,” the lawyers wrote.

UEFA recently negotiated a contract with Relevent, picking the company as a commercial partner to sell broadcast rights to competitions like the Champions League in North America. The organizations are also discussing the possibility of Relevent’s arranging an off-season competition that would be endorsed by UEFA.

In an interview on Friday, Ceferin said he was not interested in whether or not Stillitano worked with the three clubs. But the mere idea that he would, Ceferin said, was enough to end their relationship.

“When I realized that he is actually cooperating with them at the same time I decided to finish any relationship with him,” Ceferin said. He was more angered, he said, that a private text message had been disclosed in a public filing. “I never spoke with anyone about this because I have more important things to deal with that dealing with Stillitano,” Ceferin said. “By using the private correspondence publicly, Stillitano showed what his moral values are.”

The case is the latest example of ongoing bad blood between UEFA and the three teams, who are among the wealthiest and powerful in world soccer, and the peripheral damage that the Super League fight continues to cause. It has already destroyed the once-close relationship between Ceferin and the Juventus president Andrea Agnelli; the men have not spoken since last year, even though Ceferin is godfather to Agnelli’s youngest child. Now it is Stillitano who has been cut off.