Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has defended the controversial European Super League and insists ‘the contract is binding’ for participating clubs.
European football has been rocked over the past two days following the official announcement of a Super League, a breakaway competition that will feature some of the continent’s elite and threatens the existence of the Champions League and domestic divisions.
Each of the Premier League‘s ‘big six’ – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham – are amongst the 12 teams to confirm their participation, the plans of which have been official announced in a joint-statement.
The proposals have since been met with huge backlash and opposition, leading football authorities including the Premier League, FA and UEFA against the concept of a competition that will effectively served as a closed-shop for Europe’s wealthiest clubs.
Real Madrid are one of three Spanish sides confirmed amongst the founding clubs and president, Florentino Perez, will serve as the first chairman of the European Super League.
"I will try to help to sort this somehow."
Jurgen Klopp has spoken about the European Super League proposals in tonight's post-match press conference.pic.twitter.com/9tuGZr3Xdz
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) April 20, 2021
Perez has been discussing the proposals and the outrage surrounding the footballing world, insisting a breakaway league will ‘save football at a critical moment’.
“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 the Spanish TV show El Chiringuito.
“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.”
Despite the criticism of greed aimed at the founding clubs, Perez believes the competition will serve to benefit football as a whole, generating huge income that will be distributed in a time of financial struggle for the footballing pyramid.
“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,” he added.
“Football needs to change to be more attractive globally. Instead of making the Champions League because it lost interest as it had in 1950, change comes and even at the time Fifa and Uefa were against it. But that’s how football changed.
“Football must evolve like everything in life. 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, the pandemic has given us urgency: now we are all ruined in football.
🗣 "He says he wants to save football, the only thing he wants to save is Real Madrid. He has never shown the slightest interest in English football."@SkyKaveh on 'The Super League' chairman & Real Madrid president Florentino Perez quotes about the breakaway league pic.twitter.com/so4bQo76ey
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 20, 2021
“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.
“Many important clubs in Spain, Italy and UK want to find a solution to a very bad financial situation. The only way is to play more competitive games. If instead of playing the Champions League, Super League helps the clubs to recover the lost earnings.”
The clubs announced as founding members have been threatened with huge and unprecedented sanctions, with players threatened with being banned from major international tournaments and clubs with expulsion from domestic leagues and continental competition.
Perez, however, insists no side can withdraw from their agreement to take part and insists the contracts signed are ‘binding’, reiterating that each of those involved is fully behind the formation of a European Super League.
“The contract of 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.”
Perez also spoke on the threats being issued by governing bodies such as UEFA and FIFA and insists he remains confident Super League players will not be punished in other competitions.
“Don’t worry, this will not happen. They won’t be banned if they join the Super League,” Perez said.
“Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea, and the other clubs of the Super League, will not be banned from the Champions League or domestic leagues, 100 per cent.
“I’m sure. Impossible.”
Read Also – Premier League Team of the Week