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

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George Flood
·2-min read
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 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has insisted that the new European Super League has been designed to “save football”.

Along with fellow LaLiga giants Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham and Serie A trio Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan, Real are one of 12 clubs announced on Sunday as founder members of new midweek competition that they intend to commence as soon as possible.

The plans have been met by an enormous backlash from across the game, with governing bodies, leagues, players, managers, fans and even key government figures expressing their vehement opposition to the idea.

But Perez has now launched a passionate defence of the Super League, claiming that football must adapt to younger audiences that are “no longer interested” in the game in its current form.

The 74-year-old has been appointed as president of the Super League, with Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer and Juventus’ Andrea Agnelli - former chairman of the European Club Association (ECA) - serving as vice-presidents.

"Whenever there is a change, there are always people who oppose it... and we are doing this to save football at this critical moment," Perez said on Spanish television programme El Chiringuito de Jugones.

"Audiences are decreasing and rights are decreasing and something had to be done. We are all ruined. Television has to change so we can adapt.

"Young people are no longer interested in football. Why not? Because there are a lot of poor quality games and they are not interested, they have other platforms on which to distract themselves."

Perez also insisted that the revamp of the Champions League announced by Uefa on Monday was nowhere near enough as clubs seek to recover from lost revenue following the coronavirus pandemic.

“If we continue with the Champions League there is less and less interest and then it’s over,” he said. “The new format, which starts in 2024 is absurd. In 2024 we are all dead.

“Together we have lost €5billion. In two seasons Madrid have lost 400 million."

He added: "When you have no income other than television, you say that the solution is to make more attractive matches that fans from all over the world can see with all the big clubs and we came to the conclusion that if instead of having a Champions League we have a Super League we would be able to alleviate what we have lost."

Reacting to a montage of criticism of the Super League from the likes of Manchester United legend Gary Neville and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Perez said: “All those people, they don’t know the truth. They have said it is a league for the rich and it’s not true. It’s a league to save football.”

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