Florentino Pérez: “Football is in free fall”

Florentino Pérez, in a file image.

The president of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, drew an apocalyptic landscape to justify why 12 clubs have launched the European Super League, a project that has unleashed a total war in which no one from the highest spheres of power has been left out, either politics. “We do this to save football, which is at a critical moment, about to go bankrupt. The situation is dramatic. He’s been losing interest for a long time. Audiences and audiovisual rights are going down and something had to be done. Soccer is in free fall. If we don’t do something, it won’t last long. It must evolve, like life, people and companies. It has to adapt to the times ”, he assured in the program The beach bar the white president and main head of this movement. It was their first public intervention after last Sunday they announced the idea they had been working on for two years and did so with harsh attacks on UEFA.

As he explained, the most important entities on the continent have lost 5,000 million euros during the pandemic. “We, Real Madrid, have stopped entering 400,” he warned. “Everything was delicate, but the coronavirus has come to give us the last straw. In this situation, we die ”, he continued in his speech.

Pérez explained that, at this point, the conclusion reached by the promoters of this plan (United, City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Barcelona, ​​Atlético and Real Madrid) is to “do more competitive and attractive matches to alleviate the money that has been lost ”. And on the hunt for a very clear target audience: young people who, as he pointed out, have moved away from this sport. “There are a lot of poor quality matches and they go to other platforms. What is attractive is that we play the greats. Now the Champions League is only attractive from the quarterfinals. The rest, very little. Young people prefer to entertain themselves in another way, they say that a game is too long for them. Maybe they have to be shortened ”, he dropped.

The white president pointed out that, given the current economic scarcity, the plan is that “those at the top”, with their millions of followers around the world, can generate money so that it flows “in solidarity” to the rest. “It cannot be that modest clubs win money in La Liga and Barcelona lose. Or that in England the six Super League teams lose and many of the rest win. This, like this, lasts a while ”, he clarified. In the accounts of this group of entities, the amount to be distributed among the participants is estimated at more than 7,000 million per season.

The aim of the rupturistas is to start as soon as possible, if it is this August better, although they are open to delaying the project in the event that it is possible to reach an agreement with UEFA. “We want to talk to them and to FIFA,” he said. The first reaction of the highest body of European football, however, was furious. “The Super League is a spit in the face of football and our society,” exclaimed UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who focused his attacks on Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, whom he accused of “lying persistently ”.

Florentino Pérez, showing signs of the open war between the two sides, charged with everything against UEFA and Ceferin. “UEFA is a monopoly. It does not have a good image in its history. It must be open to dialogue and not threaten. This is now over. What UEFA cannot do is insult [a Agnelli]. What he has done is unpresentable. This has to change. I know what Lebron James wins and not the UEFA president. We need transparency ”, emphasized the Merengue president, who stressed that no one will expel Madrid or other teams from the semifinals of the Champions League. “The law protects us, that’s impossible.”

This Monday, at the same time that UEFA strongly criticized the movement of these 12 clubs, it announced its new redesign of the Champions League, with more games, although, in reality, it became another point of friction. “There is no one who understands that model, that does not work. It does not produce the necessary income to save football and they say they want to start in 2024. Then we are all dead. With the current income of the Champions, we die. The big ones, the medium ones and the small ones. There are fewer and fewer audiences and money, ”Pérez insisted.

Neither was Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, spared from the attacks, who described the project as “secessionist, elitist and selfish”, and which received the support of the central government. “The first thing to be is transparent. The style says a lot. We are talking about something very serious ”, commented the top white leader about the employer’s leader. Florentino Pérez had to answer several times the accusation that the Super League was a tournament for the rich and that it would detract from the national tournaments. “Why is the League going to be worse? Quite the opposite. If there are stronger clubs, we are all stronger. They are entrenched competitions. In basketball we play the ACB and the Euroleague. At first there were difficulties, but it is possible to coexist perfectly. We want to do the same as in basketball, to make it simple ”, he settled.

You can follow SPORTS in Facebook Y Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.

Leave a Reply