Super League president Perez gives first public interview on controversial plan

Florentino Perez has become the first man involved in the new European Super League to give a public interview on their controversial masterplan.

Real Madrid chief Perez has been named as the president of the new competition, which has drawn widespread anger and criticism from around the globe.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus, AC Milan, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham have all signed up leaving the revamped Champions League in disarray.

The silence from those involved in the plans – officially announced late on Sunday night – has been deafening.

But Perez took to Spanish TV show El Chiringuito TV late on Monday night to explain their proposal and insisted the solution was necessary to combat huge financial losses in recent times.

And he sensationally claimed "we are going to save football" in comments sure to further anger vocal critics.

Vowing to win around their critics, Perez said (via AS): "Now we have the job of telling those people that what they have said is not true.

"They have said that it is for the rich and it is not true. It is to save football and based on solidarity.

"Someone has been interested to explain it like this, to say that the rich will be richer and the poor, poorer. And it is not so.

"We are all going to go out and explain the truth of what this is. We are going to save football, we are not going to allow football to disappear.

"This is the only option to save the modest, the medium clubs. Those who have the right to have an opinion are the fans, those 4,000 million.

"They want better competitions, more competitive. And nobody cares about this. It is not true that we end the leagues.

"Boris Johnson? They have told him that the Premier League is disappearing. When he sees that it is not true and that it is also silly.

".Don't worry, everything will return to normal. "

Perez also explained that the competition has been two years in the making and was accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have been working a lot, more than two years," he declared. "The pandemic has given us the finishing touch to a situation that was deteriorating.

”The biggest clubs in England, Italy and Spain have found a solution to the very difficult situation that football is experiencing.

“Real Madrid in two seasons have lost 400 million euros, and that's just Real Madrid.

“When you only have income from television, you understand the solution is to create games that are more competitive and more attractive and that can be seen around the world.

“That's how we started working. We came to the conclusion that by doing a Super League during the week, instead of the Champions League, we would be able to mitigate the lost income.”

In response to threats from UEFA that the clubs involved could be banned from domestic competitions and players stopped from playing in international games, he stated: "I entered football in 2000 and it has to evolve, like people, companies, social networks.

“Football must adapt to the times in which we live. Football was losing interest.”

He insists their plan will appeal to young people who “no longer have an interest in football” in a controversial assessment of the game loved by millions around the world.

He stated: ”It occurred to all of us. Instead of making the Champions League, which was losing interest.

“It was the same in 1950 with Santiago Bernabéu, who opposed the creation of the European Cup and then changed football. The attraction is that we play among the greats, competitiveness.

“I don't own Madrid, everything I do is for the good of football. Football is at a critical moment.

"You can see that the audiences decrease and the rights decrease. Both had to be done. And with the pandemic, we are all ruined.

“Soccer is global, we have fans in all parts of the world. Television is the medium that should change to adapt to the times.

“An analysis had to be made of why young people, from 16 to 24, no longer have an interest in football. There are many games, of little interest.

“They have other platforms. it has to adapt. We understand that we must change something to make this sport more attractive worldwide. “

Perez also revealed they plan to start the competition “as soon as possible” and will work with the relevant parties to make it happen

He added: “As soon as possible … UEFA? We say that we will talk to UEFA and FIFA.

“We are the generators. Let's see how those five places are accessed … I don't know why they get angry. We said in the statement that we will talk to UEFA.”

Footballers have come out against the plans but he reassured them UEFA threats over stopping them competing in other competitions are empty.

"The footballer can be totally calm, that will not happen," Perez added. "It is the confusion of those who control the monopolies.

"Of course UEFA is a monopoly. It must be transparent, it does not have a good image throughout the history, I do not want to mention things.

"They do not have to threaten anyone, nobody did anything wrong. Their format in our view does not work, I have spoken with all the leagues, federations.

"Nobody understands. They also say that it starts in 2024, in 2024 we are dead. There are clubs that have lost hundreds of millions."

Perez continued: "They are threats from someone who confuses a monopoly with property.

"We must not threaten, we must dialogue. We have offered a format that we believe saves football, as they believed when they created the European Cup.

"The monopolies are over. Football is on the verge of bankruptcy. Not the big ones, everyone. If there is no money in the big ones, they don't buy players from others. It's a pyramid."

In response to criticisms that it will be a closed shop with founding teams guaranteed their places, he added: "That already happens now. Meritocracy cannot exist for 50.

"Napoli, Roma will also have the right…. If it is not one year, it will be the next. But what gives money are the 15 fixed that play between them every week, it's the biggest show.

"No sport has 4,000 million pending, actually pending from a few teams.

"The Champions League is attractive from the quarterfinals, the rest is of little interest.

"We play against modest teams that have no appeal. When we have the money we talk and we distribute it, we believe in solidarity. We believe in solidarity and values."

European Super League announcement fallout

Perez also dismissed suggestions that domestic leagues would be ruined by the proposals, stating: "The leagues are as they are until now, it is a deeply rooted competition.

"The pandemic has changed us all and football. Why is LaLiga going to be worse? "

"The Premier League is rooted throughout England … If there are stronger clubs, they are all stronger.

"If the less big are less strong, it affects football. Football has lowered its appeal among young people, that's for sure.

"We want to create attractiveness. Let them leave the tablet, the mobile. The better the games, the more entertaining they will be. "

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