Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, has revealed the true motivation behind the Super League that was announced late on Sunday night but insists that the controversial move to create a virtually walled-off competition for the Continent's biggest clubs was made “to save football”.
In an astonishing appearance on El Chiringuito TV, the 74-year-old admitted that clubs like his and Barcelona face financial ruin because of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the only way out for them was to play more competitive matches, something that the proposed revamp of the Champions League couldn't provide.
Uefa had been expecting to announce the ratification of changes to its flagship tournament today but they were pre-empted by the bombshell announcement that 12 of its most high-profile clubs were going it alone in what they expect to become a 15-team league of permanent members with five open spots per season for qualifying teams from across Europe.
In his hyperbolic comments, relayed to Twitter by journalist Fabrizio Romano, Perez criticised Uefa for a lack of transparency and suggested that there could be no going back for the 12 founding members of The Super League, regardless of attempts by Fifa, Europe's governing body of the affected domestic leagues to stand in their way.
"Many important clubs in Spain, Italy and UK want to find a solution to a very bad financial situation,” Perez said. “The only way is to play more competitive games. If, instead of playing in the Champions League, [they play in the] Super League, [it] helps the clubs to recover the lost earnings
"Here at Real Madrid we've lost a lot of money. We are all going through a very bad situation. When there is no profit, the only way is to play more competitive games during the week. The Super League will save the clubs financially.”
Illustrative of the contempt shown by the owners of the clubs who have been nicknamed the Dirty Dozen, which has included references in its founding documents to existing match-going supporters as “legacy fans” and laughable claims that the new league's aim is “to ensure the vibrancy of the competition and to maintain a strong commitment to the principle of sporting merit,” Perez maintained that the new venture was simply a product of football's need to change.
"Football must evolve like everything in life,” he continued. “Football has to adapt to the times we live in now. Football is losing interest, TV rights are decreasing. We wanted to do the Super League [and] the pandemic has given us urgency — now we are all ruined in football.
"The attractive thing in football is playing between big clubs, the value for television increases and more income is generated. It's not just the rich who want the Super League, we're doing it to save football because it's at a critical moment.
"It will become like a pyramid because we big clubs will have more money and we will be able to invest it by buying players... if the big clubs lose their money as is happening, the whole football system crashes as with the Champions League.
"The Super League is NOT a closed league; it's absolutely not true. Whoever wins the five available spots will be able to play with the other best teams in the world.
“We have to discuss with UEFA the 5 spots available in the Super League. UEFA has been working on the new format of the UCL, but I honestly don't understand it. We want to save football.
“UEFA is a monopoly but it needs to be more transparent. We want to save football for the next 20 years, it is in a time of serious danger. If you win, you receive €120 to € 130m from UEFA but with the Super League we will earn much more.
“Even in the Premier League, if the top clubs are economically stronger, all the other clubs will also become stronger. It is a consequence.”
Perez went on to reject the notion that the 12 clubs could be expelled from Uefa competition or their domestic leagues, saying he was “100% sure. Impossible,” and when combined with comments by a visibly disgusted Uefa president Alexander Ceferin don't provide suggestions that it was simply a bargaining chip to force Uefa‘s hand.
“This Super League is not for the rich, but it's to save football. If this continues, football will disappear and by 2024 we would already be dead. This is the only way to save everyone: big, medium and small clubs.
"The contract of the the Super League is binding. Nobody can leave, we will work all together. All the clubs signed the contracts last Saturday, there's no problem.”
Reader Comments (11)
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1 Posted 20/04/2021 at 00:48:14
He openly admits it's to bail out his own club first and foremost.
If there was ever an announcement that could show them for what they are that was it!
2 Posted 20/04/2021 at 00:50:07
3 Posted 20/04/2021 at 01:41:26
He talks about saving football like Trump talked about saving America -- by making the obscenely wealthy even wealthier.
He has no power to stop UEFA and the domestic leagues from banning the SL clubs. He has no power to stop FIFA from banning the players internationally. He has no power to prevent the removal of his cojones with a chainsaw by a $30 billion industry backed by 3 billion infuriated fans.
Sooner or later, he is jodido -- fucked.
4 Posted 20/04/2021 at 07:06:42
5 Posted 20/04/2021 at 10:45:07
6 Posted 20/04/2021 at 10:47:51
Government should forclose!
7 Posted 20/04/2021 at 14:22:18
I can't see why they think a league set across a core of 7 European cities in 3 countries is going to have the broad lasting appeal they require for success.
8 Posted 20/04/2021 at 14:59:01
Perez: A man who would unplug someone's life support machine to charge his phone, then claim he was saving the environment as he's using less electricity.
9 Posted 20/04/2021 at 16:11:14
FFP was supposed to solve all the financial problems in football and protect the "elite" clubs.
It has clearly failed, because the "elite" clubs are in greater debt than any others.
So their solution is, to form an "elite" league where they will forever be entitled to play, irrespective of rank or merit.
Then they will be able to borrow more against their "guaranteed income" and get into even greater debt.
What was it Einstein said?
10 Posted 20/04/2021 at 22:46:18
I would suggest younger people are not watching football because it is so predictable. Of the 84 league titles in England, Spain and Italy since the Premier League started until 2019, 77 have been won by the 12 teams in the proposed league and 2 of them have never won their league in this time.
11 Posted 20/04/2021 at 22:48:42
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