Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid, has addressed in a exclusive interview at the daily AS all the problems of the Super League, presented last Sunday in society and put in check just two days later. Pérez, also president of the new competition, maintains the faith that the project will end up succeeding and maintains that none of the partners have abandoned the project, but that they have taken time to reflect.
Question. The main criticisms against the Super League have been that it goes against the national championships and that it seems like a private club that is not reached by meritocracy. What does that say?
Answer. It is that neither one thing nor the other is true, but everything has been manipulated. It is neither an exclusive plan nor is it against the leagues. The Superliga project is the best possible, and it has been done to help football come out of the crisis. Football is seriously hurt because its economy is sinking and we have to adapt to the times we live in. The Super League does not go against the domestic championships and aims to get more money to flow for all of football. It has been designed to give more interest to parties. And I think that the new UEFA reform does not solve the problem either because what has been presented is not even better than what there is. And besides, we can’t wait until 2024. But anyway, we have done something wrong. Let’s go around it and confront ideas. Maybe what the first four of each country play is the solution. I don’t know, but something has to be done because youth, between the ages of 14 and 24, are abandoning football because it bores them in front of other entertainment that they prefer. There are four billion soccer fans spread all over the world and half of them are fans of Super League clubs. Soccer is the only global sport.
P. Is the economy so bad for you to say that the situation is very serious, that football dies?
R. Let’s go to the data: the report from the consulting firm KPMG, only in the three months of the pandemic that affected last season, showed losses of the twelve Super League clubs for 650 million euros. This year, with the full season in a pandemic, the losses will go to between 2,000 and 2,500 million euros. The Girondins have just gone bankrupt. Either we do something soon or a lot of clubs will go out of business.
P. His project proposes a simple solution to get more income: raise the level of the matches in competition and emotion. How can that be done without the modest teams feeling aggrieved?
R. The reality is that if there are more interesting and competitive matches, more money will go into football. And that will be for everyone, not just a few, because the national leagues will be worth much more. And we also have important amounts for solidarity, which is a very important pillar of the project.
P. There are those who suspect that Real Madrid could be harmed from all this, either in the offices or on the field. What do you think?
R. In the democratic Europe we live in, no one can think of that.