Real Madrid – La Liga: Florentino Perez: We’ve made the European Super League to save football


    Florentino Perez has bullishly defending the creation of the European Super League, which was announced on Sunday.

    The Real Madrid president is the first chairman of the competition, which has come in for criticism from all sides since its confirmation after midnight on Sunday.

    “UEFA worked in another format that, firstly, I didn’t understand it and secondly, it doesn’t produce the necessary income to save football,” Perez said on El Chiringuito on Monday night.

    “When I say save football I mean to save everyone, so that for the next 20 years at least we can live in peace. The situation is very dramatic. We believe this format can save football, like the European Cup saved football in the 50s.”

    Why the Super League?

    In an attempt to explain the Super League, Florentino addressed clubs’ falling revenues, which have been accentuated by the coronavirus pandemic.

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    “The biggest clubs in England, Italy and Spain had to find a solution to the really terrible situation they were in,” Perez said. “The European Club Association says they’ve lost five billion euros. At Real Madrid we had a budget of 800 million euros and we finished with 700m. This year instead of 900m, let’s see if we get 600m. In two seasons Real Madrid have lost 400m.

    “When you have no income other than TV money, the best way to increase revenue is to have more attractive games that fans from all over the world can see. So we came to a conclusion that instead of doing the Champions League we would do a Super League and we would be able to alleviate what was lost.”

    When will the Super League start?

    The aim is to start the new competition immediately, if possible, and some have suggested that it could begin as soon as August 2020.

    “We will try to start as soon as possible,” Florentino said. “We are going to talk to UEFA and FIFA, I don’t know why they have to get angry.”

    When did he have the idea?

    The Super League has been spoken of for decades, but the Real Madrid president spoke about the problems brought on by the pandemic and football being played behind closed doors to explain the idea.

    “When you don’t have any income other than from television, you have to find a solution to make more attractive matches that fans all over the world can watch with all of the big clubs,” Florentino said.

    “We came to the conclusion that, instead of playing a Champions League we had a Super League we would be able to make up for what has been lost.

    “There are a lot of games of poor quality. Barcelona-Manchester United is more entertaining than Manchester United against a more modest team. What does the whole world want?

    “We have fans all over the world and that’s what makes money, other competitions don’t make money, and that money is for everyone. It’s a pyramid. If those of us at the top have money… But if it’s not generated then it doesn’t exist.”

    What about UEFA’s threats to players?

    UEFA’s Aleksander Ceferin has threatened to ban players in the Super League from representing their countries at World Cups and European Championships.

    “The players should remain calm because the threats won’t happen,” the Super League chairman said. “But those who run the monopolies at UEFA have to be transparent. UEFA doesn’t have a good image.

    “They presented a [Champions League] format that no one understands, and they say in 2024 it will start. By 2024 we will be dead! There are clubs that have lost hundreds of millions.”

    What will the officiating be like?

    VAR has caused a stir since its implementation, and Real Madrid have been critical of its use in Spain before.

    “VAR and referees will be improved,” Florentino added. “There will be financial fair play and stability. We’ll try to select the referees with professional criteria.”

    Defending Agnelli and hitting out at Ceferin

    Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli has come in for some strong criticism since the news emerged, including from UEFA’s own president.

    “What the UEFA president said is something that he can’t say,” Florentino said. “He insulted Agnelli. UEFA have to change, we don’t want a president who insults us.

    “We want transparency. We all want to change for the better. It’s inconceivable that, in a democratic Europe, these things are said.”

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