The ruling handed down by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 4 March 2021, in the case of FC Barcelona against the European Commission, is likely to satisfy specialists in European competition law, as it provides interesting clarifications on the role of the European Commission in the qualification of State aid. It may also satisfy sports lawyers, at least those who had reluctantly seen how the EU General Court had successfully set aside sanctions imposed by the European Commission in July 2016 on seven Spanish professional football clubs, ordering the return of State aid that had been unduly granted to them in various forms. First of all, we should take a look back at this long and important case.
In a ruling on 4 March 2021, the ECJ resolved the dispute...
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