KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- European federation UEFA, as it promised, has opened disciplinary action against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus over their involvement in the Super League fiasco.

The particular problem for UEFA is that the three clubs have not formally confirmed a withdrawal from the breakaway project unlike the other nine founder members.

The nine  – Atletico Madrid, Milan, Imternazionale, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham – signed a Club Commitment Declaration with UEFA earlier this month.

In a statement, the European governing body said: “Following an investigation conducted by UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC for a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework.”

UEFA had previously opened a disciplinary investigation with regard to a potential violation of the governing body’s legal framework by the three clubs concerned.

Some reports have speculated that the trio risk expulsion from UEFA competitions such as the Champions League for a period of two years although it is not clear how that this would fall in terms of a Spanish court injunction against legal action and prospect of reference to the European Court of Justice.

A statement from the three clubs said: “Barçelona, Juventus and Real, century-old clubs, will not give in to any form of coercion or intolerable pressure.

“They will continue to show their firm will to discuss, through dialogue and respect, the urgent solutions that the football world demands today. Either we modernize football or we will see its inevitable ruin.”

The breakaway league was abandoned within 72 hours of its announcement last month amid considerable fan protests, government pressure, and player and manager rejection.

In announcing a recommitment to UEFA on Friday, the nine clubs agreed to make a combined goodwill contribution of just over £13m to benefit children’s and grassroots football across Europe. They will also have five per cent of UEFA competition revenues withheld for one season and this money will be redistributed.

The nine also face fines of almost £87m each if they seek to join an unauthorised competition in the future, and a fine of half that amount if they breach any other terms of the declaration. They will also rejoin the influential lobbying group the European Club Association.

In contrast, however, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus attacked “intolerable” pressure to abandon the Super League project.

A statement read: “The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue.

“This is intolerable under the rule of law and tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending.”

Juventus have been warned by the Italian football federation they will be expelled from Serie A unless they withdraw from the proposed breakaway league.