Madrid: Florentino Pérez, the founding chairman of the ‘Super League’, said Tuesday that the new competition is being created to save soccer. Pérez said that it is not the intention to make the rich clubs richer by starting the ‘Super League’.
Pérez is the president of Real Madrid, one of the 12 clubs behind the breakaway competition. If the competition finally happens it could challenge the existence of the Champions League. Pérez also asserted that it ‘impossible’ that players from the participating teams will be banned by UEFA. He also said the new league won’t start next season if a deal isn’t reached with European soccer’s governing body.
Pérez also didn’t completely rule out the possibility that the Super League won’t start at all. However, he indicated that the clubs were prepared to go all the way to make it happen.
Pérez is the first of the club presidents to speak publicly after the proposed new league was announced Sunday. He said clubs were ‘ruined’ financially by the coronavirus pandemic. He asserted that the Super League was the solution to ‘save soccer in a critical moment’.
“We are all going through a very difficult situation,” Pérez said in an interview on a Spanish TV channel. “When you don’t have revenue, the only way to change that is to try to have more competitive and attractive games,” Pérez said.
“Soccer has to evolve, just like businesses and everyone has to evolve. Soccer has to adapt. We felt that we needed to change something to help make soccer more attractive,” Pérez added.
Pérez said the new Champions League format proposed by UEFA for 2024 won’t produce enough revenue to help save the sport. “With the way the revenues are now in the Champions League, all clubs will die,” Pérez asserted. “The big ones (clubs), the medium ones and the small ones, all will suffer. By 2024, when this new format is supposed to begin, the clubs will all be gone,” he added.
The Real Madrid president said the revenue brought in by the bigger clubs in a competition like the Super League would benefit the soccer industry in general.
“This is what is profitable, and this money will end up reaching everyone,” Pérez said. He noted that the big clubs are the ones that will keep buying players and will have the solidarity to keep helping everyone in soccer.