The first of two sessions to discuss whether FIFA and UEFA are violating EU Competition Law will begin in Luxembourg today before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The Superleague, the macro-project promoted by Florentino Pérez is at stake, but also the football model as we have known it until now; a machine that moves huge amounts of money, passions and power. The interests at stake are enormous.
The representation of the plaintiffs, the European Superleague Company -the Super League- and A22 Sports Management, is led by Clifford Chance Madrid office with a team of comprising Litigation head partner Fernando Irurzun and Litigation counsel Fernando Giménez-Alvear, Corporate head partner Luis Alonso and Competition head partner Miguel Odriozola. They are joined by RocaJunyent of counsel Jean-Louis Dupont, one of the leading specialists in Sports Law, who has been involved in cases such as the Bosman case and the Meca-Medina case.
On the defendants’ side, UEFA’s defence is in the hands of Ashurst, wit a team formed by partner José Antonio Rodríguez and senior associate Alberto Manzanares, and Denis Waelbroeck and Donald Slater, partners in the EU Law department of the firm´s Brussels office. The team is also supported by two external advisers, Benoît Keane (an expert in European Sports Law) and Sarah Love, as well as Martinez-Lage managing partner Helmut Brokelmann, a Competition specialist with experience in Sports Law. FIFA has Álvaro Pascual, partner at Baño León, and English barrister Mark Hoskins, both experts in Competition Law.
Both bodies are supported by the lawyers of the RFEF and LaLiga. The former is advised by Tomás González Cueto, managing partner of GC Legal, and Competition expert Pedro Callol. The second, by a team from Marimón Abogados comprising Litigation partner Marcelino Pajares, Stefan Rating, co-head of the Competition department, and Yolanda Martínez Mata, senior associate in the same area.