Florentino Perez claims European Super League will ‘save football’

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has claimed that the Super League will “save football at this critical moment“.

In the statement announcing the Super League, Perez was named as its inaugural chairman.

A ‘well-placed source’ told BBC Sport’s Dan Roan that both Real and Manchester United were the ‘ringleaders’ behind the proposals.

Speaking to El Chiringuito de Jugones in Spain (quotes via Sky Sports), Perez said that changes needed to be made.

He explained: “Whenever there is a change, there are always people who oppose it.

“We are doing this to save football at this critical moment.

“Audiences are decreasing and rights are decreasing and something had to be done. We are all ruined.

“Television has to change so we can adapt.

He then claimed: “Young people are no longer interested in football.

“Why not? Because there are a lot of poor quality games and they are not interested, they have other platforms on which to distract themselves.”

Perez also added that the 12 Super League clubs had lost a total of €5 billion collectively, with Real themselves losing €400 million in the past two seasons.

The Spaniard called the new Champions League format – announced by UEFA yesterday – as “absurd”.

What was Perez’s reaction to UEFA president comments?

Perez hit out at UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin in his interview.

Ceferin said yesterday that any player participating in the Super League would be banned from World Cups and European Championships.

The Slovenian also said that the Super League was a “nonsense of a project” and that it was a “spit in the face for all football lovers and our society.”

Perez said in response: “[The players] can remain absolutely calm because that’s not going to happen. Very calm, that’s not going to happen.

“No, [Real] won’t be expelled from Champions [League], that’s for sure.

“Real Madrid won’t be, [Manchester] City won’t be, none of them will be expelled, that’s for sure. I’m completely sure of it.

“Not from Champions [League], not from LaLiga, nothing like that.”

What will the new Champions League format look like?

In the midst of their response to the bombshell Super League news, UEFA announced on Monday their new planned format for the Champions League.

The new format will follow a ‘Swiss model’, whereby teams play in 10 group games against opponents of differing strength.

The tournament will expand from 32 to 36 teams, with two of the additional four teams qualifying via UEFA co-efficient rather than sporting merit.

Eight teams that finish highest in the group will qualify for the last 16, with a knockout round between places nine and 24 used to determine the other eight qualifiers.

The new format is due to begin in 2024.

Featured Image Credit: Getty