MADRID: A Madrid commercial court has criticised as a “disguised sanction” the UEFA agreement with the nine clubs who withdrew from the Super League project.

Last April, Madrid’s 17th Commercial Court barred UEFA from retaliatory action against the 12 founding clubs of the Super League.

In a new order Judge Manuel Ruiz de Lara has cautioned the European football federation to withdraw the ” sanctions ” imposed on the nine clubs which have abandoned the project.

At issue is the agreement reached on May 7 after apologetic retreats by Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Atlético de Madrid, Internazionale and AC Milan.

A UEFA statement at the time said the clubs had accepted a series of “reinstatement measures “. These included the forfeiture of five per cent of their European income for a season, a “global ” donation  of €15m to the grass roots game plus the threat of a fine of €100m in case of a breach.

However Judge Ruiz de Lara has deemed the agreement as a disguised punishment.

He said: “The sanctions imposed on certain founding clubs of the Super League, under a simple euphemism constituted by the term ‘agreement’ represent a clear violation  of the court’s decision in April.”

Judge Ruiz de Lara said these sanctions should be lifted “with immediate effect ” and that the European federation should “refrain from taking any other similar measure in the future. ”

He also asked UEFA to cancel the disciplinary proceedings against the three teams which have not yet quit the project: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

These proceedings, which had been provisionally suspended pending a European Court of Justice ruling, were a ” blatant disregard” of the courrt’s initial decision.