Real Madrid President Florentino Perez defended the founding of the Super League with pithy words: The Champions League is not attractive in its current form, fans would reject games against small clubs. The income from the premier class would not save the big clubs from ruin either. He does not fear any consequences for the twelve renegade clubs and their players.
“The Champions League is only interesting from the quarter-finals, not really before,” emphasized Perez (74), who was recently confirmed as President of the Royal League until 2025 and is now also the head of the new elite league El Chiringuito on Spanish television. “But if we had five games on Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the season, it would be unstoppable.”
Games like Real Madrid against Manchester United or FC Barcelona against Milan are “more attractive than Manchester against a small club”. You have to think of the worldwide fans, he emphasized: “We have fans in Singapore, in China, all over the world, you can see that on social media. That brings in the money.” He pushed for a change in football. “We have to think about why 16- to 24-year-olds are no longer interested in football.”
Twelve big names in international football, including all of the English giants, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, have announced the establishment of a Super League that is independent of UEFA. All of this year’s German starters in the Champions League (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach) do not want to take part.
Perez described the format as the savior of European football. “They say it’s a league for the rich. But that’s not true. It’s a league to save football,” he said. “The money goes to everyone, it’s a pyramid. When those above have money, it trickles down.”
Real President Perez: “By 2024, the clubs are long dead”
The billion-dollar project, initiated by the US investment bank JPMorgan, met with strong international rejection. For its part, UEFA had initiated a reform of the premier class and threatened the renegade clubs and their players with consequences such as exclusion from the European Championship or the Champions League.
However, the reform is not enough to save the clubs hit by the corona pandemic, said Perez. “With the current income from the Champions League we are dying. Fewer spectators mean less money. We are all dying, the big clubs, the medium-sized ones, the small ones. They say the new Champions League format is coming in 2024, but until then we are long dead. “
Perez was not deterred by possible sanctions. “Madrid will not be thrown out of the Champions League, definitely not,” said the powerful club boss, “not even Manchester City or anyone else. That is impossible. The players can also stay calm.” He said that UEFA “does not have a good image. I do not want to mention things that happened at UEFA, but it has to engage in dialogue and not threaten.”