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Super League a Necessity, Project Not Dead: Real Madrid President Florentino Perez

The Super League project collapsed Wednesday after eight of the 12 founding members withdrew following widespread opposition.
super league protest across Europe

Fans of all the teams involved in the Super League came out in protest against the project (Pic: Twitter, NYT).

The president of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, has not given up the Super League project, saying the beleaguered project is on stand-by.  Perez told a Spanish radio that he was open to altering the format while ensuring that big clubs with “most fans and most social media followers” were guaranteed a place.

Perez, however, did not explain what exactly was the larger alteration plan he had in mind. He just said: “four from each place” would work. As things stand, the “stand-by” league has four clubs yet to pull out completely -- Real, FC Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan. Perez said he is in constant touch with those clubs.

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“The project is on stand-by,” Perez told Spanish radio program El Larguero. “We are going to keep working.”

“I'm convinced that if this project doesn’t work another similar one will.”

Twelve of Europe's top clubs – six from England, and three each from Spain and Italy - announced the launch of Super League on Sunday. Fifteen top clubs (founding members) were guaranteed a place and another five would qualify each season. After facing widespread opposition -- from UEFA, FIFA to fans and the British government -- things started to fall apart within a day.

The project collapsed Tuesday after eight of the 12 founding members -- Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid -- pulled out.

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The sport’s governing bodies, other clubs as well as fans across leagues felt the Super League would damage the game and it was just a tool to further increase the clout and wealth of the elite clubs. The partially closed structure of the league added fuel to the suspicion. 

Perez attributed the situation the Super League is facing to the pulling out of the English clubs. Their reluctance “infected the others," he said.

Perez claimed the top clubs were bleeding money because of the situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic and needed the revenue inflow the new league promised to keep things afloat..

The Champions League is obsolete, he said, “because it’s only of interest from the quarter-final stage. We need to do this now. We can’t wait three years.”

“When all this is over the reality will come and we’ll see what happens. Clubs are going to lose more than 2 billion (Euros),” he added.

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