The football world has been turned upside down by the announcement of the European Super League. There has been an outrage from the fans, ex-footballers, managers, commentators and football writers all over the world. The tussle between UEFA and the bosses of the twelve clubs that joined the Super League is quite messy, but football is suffering from this.

Opinions are coming out from various sections of the world and one of the masterminds of the idea – Florentino Perez, the boss of the best club in the history of football,  also spoke out and expressed his opinion to El Chiringuito TV.

Here are the excerpts:

The European Super League

Why now for the European Super League? The big clubs of England, Spain and Italy have to find a solution to tackle the bad situation that football is experiencing. We’ve come to the conclusion that by replacing the Champions League with the Super League, we’ll be able to alleviate the lost income due to the pandemic.

You have to make a profitable income by producing more competitive games. When you have no income other than the broadcasting rights, you come up with a solution of producing more attractive games that enable fans from all over the world to watch the big clubs play against each other. Real Madrid are in a very bad economic situation. Real Madrid, in two seasons, have lost more than 400 million euros — and that’s just Real Madrid!

On the young generation fans

Football is beginning to lose interest, audiences are going down and television rights too, something had to be done, and the pandemic accelerated this process. Without change, we are ruined. 16-24-year-old fans aren’t interested in football.

40% of young people aren’t interested in football, because there are too many games of low quality.

It’s in all the statistics and the studies.

Teenagers are more interested in playing video games than in football these days, and we have to do something to bring them back. We had to adapt. The same thing happened in the 50s, UEFA and FIFA were opposed to Bernabeu and the European Cup.

No one has an interest in the Champions League until the quarterfinals.

What generates the most interest?

Let the greats play.

We’re doing our best for the sport. The Champions League has lost its attraction; we have created the Super League to save football. We have to change something to make this sport more attractive at a global level. That is what we did with Bernabeu.

Television rights are what makes us money. That money is for everyone. If those at the top have money, it goes to everyone because we buy players from those other clubs and we can be in solidarity.

Nobody understands the new format of the Champions League, and I’m sure it’s not enough to save football. I don’t own Real Madrid, I joined the club back in 2000 to save it from a very bad economic situation; now we want to save football because the situation is bad, and we have to evolve the models.

The UEFA threat

Players excluded from International matches or tournaments? That’s not going to happen. I want to assure every football player out there, they cannot stop you from playing with your National team.

Threats from UEFA president?

(Smirks) So be it.

Real Madrid will not be banned from the Champions League. I guarantee it 100%, no one can take us out of the Champions League. UEFA has prepared the new format of UCL for 2024. In 2024, we will be dead. We’re not UEFA’s property, they can’t govern us. UEFA’s monopoly is over, a new era is coming.

What UEFA’s president did today was unacceptable, disrespecting Agnelli [Juventus Chariman]. UEFA has to change. It’s ridiculous that the UEFA president can allow himself to insult the president of a huge European club. We don’t need these types of people in football. Disrespectful and unacceptable!

How is La Liga going to lose value?

How is Madrid not going to go with their best against Valencia?

In Basketball, we play the League and another competition like this which is the Euro League. They can coexist perfectly.

Inviting others in the Super League

We haven’t invited PSG yet for the Super League. Nor we have invited any German clubs. We will not cancel the Super League if PSG and Bayern do not join – that’s nonsense. We have 15 teams and another five teams will enter. It will not be a closed league. The five teams will earn their place every season.

Again, I repeat, the Super League is not a closed league.

That’s totally false.

It’s an open league that any good team can reach, regardless of the name. If you win the UCL, you receive €120 to €130m from UEFA, but with Super League, we will earn much more. Any team can enter — Sevilla is one of the clubs that can enter the League. It will not be closed. We believe in what the clubs can offer so they will fight to play in the competition.

A competition for the rich?

This Super League is not a competition for the rich; it’s a competition of solidarity to save football, by the great and the modest. We want to start as soon as possible, we want to talk to UEFA and FIFA, but they should not get angry – they better know that. The big teams are more attractive, they are the ones who generate the most money. I do not think it’s more attractive to watch unfamiliar teams. We owe this change to the fans. Everything will be improved with the Super League, including VAR and the referees. Without the Super League, football will die before 2024. Big and small clubs will die.

One of our clubs panicking and leaving?

No, they already signed — we all signed on Saturday.

Barcelona are going through a difficult economic situation, Laporta immediately understood and accepted like all the great clubs in the world. This Super League will save the entire world of football. It wasn’t difficult to convince Joan Laporta because he has a responsibility to his club and its fans.

Financial Transparency

We want to start the Super League next season, that’s why we announced. I was chosen as a president because of my experience.

I know LeBron James’ salary because it’s public, but I don’t know the UEFA president’s salary. Why? UEFA does not have a good image throughout its history, there needs to be transparency. I reduced my salary because of the pandemic; I don’t think the president of the UEFA or La Liga did that. We have problems even with our sponsors. Adidas and Emirates have had difficulties (financially), we also have to be in solidarity with them. There are people who think that nothing has happened since the pandemic. This isn’t a battle for money; this is a battle for football. We’re trying to save football, and some people don’t care because it’s not in their financial interest.

We will do all of our efforts to try to reach a compromise with FIFA or UEFA. If we can’t reach an agreement, we won’t back down. We will continue working even if it takes more time. We will be able to watch the best games in world football two days of the week and without compromising the matches of the respective leagues on the weekend.

On Kylian Mbappe

I go out with a mask, nobody recognizes me and all the sudden I hear, ‘Presi, sign Mbappé!’, I tell them, ‘be calm’. It’s good, why lie? Madrid needs a change. We need to evolve. We have won a lot and we must recover the illusion, the desire to compete.

Erling Haaland & Raiola Visit

Haaland’s father visited our museum. It’s crazy, everyone always has the same reaction, they’ve never seen anything like that.

On the return of Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano isn’t returning to Madrid, he gave us a lot but his return makes no sense. I love him, but it doesn’t make sense — he is a Juventus player.

On Zinedine Zidane’s future

Zidane is the best coach we’ve ever had. Will he leave on his own at the end of the season? I don’t know – you never know with Zidane.

PSG interest in Vinicius Junior

Vinicius is not for sale. No one can buy him, you cannot even touch him.

On the sacking of Jose Mourinho

Mourinho’s sacking? Mourinho increased our competitiveness. Of the last 11 Champions, we reached 9 semi-finals. That gene to compete, I always appreciate it.

Salary reductions

Luka Jović and Martin Odegaard before leaving lowered their salaries. Many others too, there are people who are supportive of the club. Ramos agreed to drop 10% last year, this year he is in a different situation. I love Ramos, but we are in a very bad financial situation at Real Madrid. Nobody puts money into this club. Will he leave the club? I didn’t say that – many things can happen. We will think about it at the end of the season.”

Stadium Renovations

The new Bernabeu will be ready in the fall of next year.

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