G.Saray manager backs UEFA in battle over Super League

By Can Erozden

ANKARA (AA) – Galatasaray football club manager Fatih Terim is supporting the UEFA and FIFA for their fight against the breakaway European Super League.

Terim said in Wednesday's post-match conference that he called this initiative "rebellion of 12 clubs".

The 67-year-old said that he is following the updates about the Super League project and the reason for establishing the breakaway league was "the pie," and who takes how much of it.

Terim said that a similar project was embarked on in the late 1990s in Europe.

"They attempted to set up a new league having 20 teams. But in the end, they came to the table with the UEFA to ensure a larger pie. And now the matter is the pie as well."

The Turkish manager stated that the rich clubs, who founded the Super League last weekend, want to be richer and these 12 clubs wanted to leave moderate clubs out of the game.

"I saw the reactions of the European big clubs' fans and I care [about their reactions]. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin fought well for the future of football and built a barrier [to stop it]. The UEFA head reminded that football belongs to everyone. I want to say I am standing by UEFA President Mr. Ceferin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino in this process," Terim said.

He said that he likes Ceferin's remarks about Galatasaray as the Turkish club beat important European teams to win the 2000 UEFA Cup.

Terim added, "Ceferin's Galatasaray example is not a coincidence," as the UEFA head on Tuesday referred to the Turkish club's UEFA Cup success in 2000.

The Turkish national said that Galatasaray's triumph was a "historical threshold."

In Tuesday's UEFA Congress, Ceferin urged breakaway clubs to correct their "huge mistake" and emphasized the UEFA competitions' diversity.

"Diversity is what makes European society unique. The same applies to football. UEFA competitions need Atalantas, Celtics, Rangers, Dinamo Zagrebs and Galatasarays. We need those clubs. People need to know that anything is possible. People need to know that everyone has a chance. We need to keep the dream alive," Ceferin previously said.

Under the helm of Terim, Galatasaray won Europe's second-tier trophy, eliminating Italy's Bologna, German heavyweights Borussia Dortmund, Spanish team Real Mallorca and English club Leeds United to reach the final in Copenhagen.

In the final, Galatasaray beat English powerhouse Arsenal on penalties to be crowned the 2000 champions.

Galatasaray is still the only Turkish club to win the European title in football.

The UEFA Cup was rebranded as the UEFA Europa League in the 2009-10 season.

The European Super League collapsed Wednesday as the majority of the founding clubs withdrew from the project after they had been under fire at Tuesday's UEFA Congress.

The 12 European football clubs – including Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United – previously declared that they had founded the European Super League, an alternative mid-week tournament that FIFA, UEFA and national member associations do not recognize.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are still backing this project.

This week Juventus said in a statement that the Italian club still believes in the 'soundness of the project's sport, commercial and legal premises' but accepts that there is a slight chance to complete the Super League with the current format.

The other founders, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur of England, Italy's AC Milan and Inter Milan, and Spanish club Atletico Madrid have already officially left the nascent European Super League.