Florentino Perez says European Super League ‘in stand-by’ as defiant Real Madrid president claims ‘talks ongoing to find solutions’
Florentino Perez claims the European Super League is in ‘stand-by’ as the Real Madrid president remains bullish amid fierce backlash to the controversial plans.
The new competition was announced on Sunday with 12 founder member clubs announcing their involvement to the radical plans.
It would have seen those clubs guaranteed a place in the competition every season, along with vast financial rewards.
It would have effectively been an end to the Champions League, but widespread condemnation led to its effective cancellation 48 hours later.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Tottenham all withdrew amid protests from fans, while clubs on the continent slowly followed.
Perez, who would have been heading up the European Super League, claims the plans are by no means dead.
In an interview with El Larguero: “The Super League poject is now in stand-by, I can confirm.
“Juventus and AC Milan have not left the Super League. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan are still in talks to find solutions.
“If this project didn’t work, another one will. Remember: all the 12 clubs have signed a binding contract.”
He continued: “I am a bit sad, disappointed. We have been working three years on this project, on fighting the current financial situation in Spanish football. It is easy to understand – you cannot touch La Liga, so you look for more money midweek and UCL format is obsolete.
“I have never seen aggression greater on the part of the president of UEFA and other presidents of Liga, it was orchestrated, it surprised it all. Never seen anything like it – insults, threats, as if we had killed someone, killed football.
“We are just working on saving football, after this pandemic. Madrid income falling from 900m to 600m this year. We have worked very hard on something that would satisfy everyone – and we did expect such a response.”
On the British club’s decision to withdraw, Perez said: “There was someone in the English six clubs who did not have much interest. That started to affect the others, there was fear. One of the English clubs was never really convinced.
“There was a campaign, totally manipulated, that we were going to finish the national leagues. That we were ending football, it was terrible. But we were working for football to survive.”
“There are people with privileges who do not want to lose them, and are willing to run clubs, although when the clubs are ruined they will lose their privileges.”
“The English clubs tried to do something, but they were being told they were killing football. But there is no other solution, than the Super League. Or somebody invents something else.
“They are leaving due to UEFA putting on a show, which surprised me. I don’t want to get into it with the UEFA president, but he needs to be able to talk. It was like we had thrown an atomic bomb. They did not let us explain, as they did not want anything to change.”
“It cannot be that in England, the six lose money, and 14 make money. In Spain the top three lose money, and the others make money. It cannot continue – at the moment the rich are those who are losing money.”