European Super League: Defiant president Florentino Perez insists project is not dead

George Flood
·2-min read
 (Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
(Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Florentino Perez has defiantly claimed that the European Super League project is merely on stand-by despite the exodus of nine clubs.

The brief but explosive Super League saga has dominated sporting headlines since Sunday, with 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs having confirmed controversial plans for a breakaway midweek competition.

However, the backlash to the announcement from all corners of the football world and beyond was so severe that on Tuesday night each member of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - had confirmed that they were enacting the necessary procedures to withdraw.

The Super League initially said that they planned to “reshape” the proposals in light of those exits, but founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli subsequently admitted that the competition could no longer go ahead.

AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid also withdrew on Wednesday, while Juventus conceded that the Super League was unlikely to happen in its intended form.

Remaining founder members Barcelona and Real Madrid had yet to make their respective positions publicly clear, though Los Blancos and Super League president Perez appeared on Spanish radio late on Wednesday night and remained committed to finding a solution.

“The project is on stand-by,” he said on El Larguero. “We are going to keep working.

“I'm convinced that if this project doesn’t work another similar one will.”

Perez insisted that one English club did not seem convinced by the Super League project from the start and claimed that scepticism had proven “contagious”.

Perez also reiterated his claim that the plans were intended to “save football”, though admitted that they may not have been presented in the best way as he expressed his shock at the strong reaction from the football authorities and Uefa in particular.

Florentino Perez insists the Super League plans were to “save football”Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Florentino Perez insists the Super League plans were to “save football”Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

“UEFA put on a show, that I was completely surprised by," he said. "As if we'd dropped a nuclear bomb. What did we do wrong? Maybe we presented it badly, but why didn't they let us talk about it.

"It isn't fair that in England six are losing and 14 winning, that big clubs in Spain are losing money and the small clubs are earning money. Football is a pyramid. If there is money at the top, then the money flows down and everyone gets some.

"At the top [of tennis, [Roger] Federer has to play against [Rafael] Nadal. People don't go to see Nadal against the 80th in the world.

“I have never seen aggression like it, from the president of UEFA and the domestic leagues. It seemed orchestrated. Insults, threats, like we killed football. We were trying to save football."

Read More

European Super League will ‘save football’ insists Real Madrid president Florentino Perez

European Super League: Prince William says now is the moment to secure future health of football at all levels

Arsenal and Chelsea chiefs asked to quit Premier League roles over European Super League breakaway

Joel Glazer ‘apologises unreservedly’ to Manchester United fans for European Super League

European Super League wanted to be football’s Fortnite, they got a reality check