Spain Stands Alone: The Sole Country to Not Sign Joint Declaration Among 27 EU Nations


Concerns Arise Among LaLiga Leaders Over Spanish Government’s Decision to Withhold Support for European Sports Declaration

While 26 out of 27 European Union countries have endorsed a joint declaration advocating for a sports model grounded in solidarity, sporting merit, and social impact, the Spanish government’s abstention has drawn scrutiny from presidents and executives of LaLiga clubs.

Manuel Vizcaino, Alfonso Fernández de Trocóniz, Delfí Geli, and Jeff Luhnow, representing Cádiz, Alavés, Girona, and Leganés respectively, voiced their perplexity alongside directors from Betis, Villarreal, Osasuna, and Las Palmas. The declaration, conceived by the French government and signed on the eve of the UEFA Congress in Paris, emphasizes the importance of solidarity and sporting integrity but avoids explicit mention of the Super League.

Legal Concerns Prompt Spain to Withhold Endorsement

Spain’s decision to withhold endorsement stems from the ongoing legal dispute surrounding the Super League, prompting a call for a formal meeting once the verdict is reached on March 14. Spanish authorities emphasized the need for any European sports model to align with EU legislation and judicial rulings.

Manuel Vizcaíno, President of Cádiz, urged Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to heed the voices of Spanish football, inviting him to witness firsthand the aspirations of clubs like Cádiz in European competition. Ramón Alarcón, CEO of Betis, expressed bewilderment at Spain’s reluctance, underscoring the shared commitment among football fans to principles of solidarity and fair competition.

Alfonso Fernández de Trocóniz, President of Alavés, lauded the declaration’s alignment with the essence of sports but lamented Spain’s absence from the signatories. Fernando Roig Negueroles, CEO of Villarreal, questioned Spain’s solitary stance in light of overwhelming consensus among European nations, advocating unequivocally for merit-based competition.

“Fran Canal, Osasuna’s General Manager, urged the Spanish government to reconsider its stance, advocating for a measured approach that takes into account the concerns of clubs across Spain. He emphasized the consensus among Spanish clubs against the Super League and called for the government to align its position with other European nations and domestic leagues.

Delfí Geli, President of Girona, reiterated the club’s steadfast opposition to the Super League, expressing surprise at the government’s divergence from the majority of LaLiga clubs. He emphasized the importance of earning merits on the field and asserted the rights of all clubs to vie for European competition.

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Patricio Viñayo, Las Palmas’ General Manager, criticized the government’s failure to sign the declaration, highlighting its commitment to social mobility and condemning elitist sporting structures. He underscored the need for Spain to heed the voices of its citizens and align with European sentiment.

Jeff Luhnow, President of Leganés, emphasized the significance of domestic competition for football’s future, warning against anything that undermines it. He expressed the club’s aspirations to return to the top flight and the potential consequences of being denied European opportunities.”

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