Florentino Pérez, the president of Real Madrid and key driver of the proposed breakaway European Super League, has insisted that the project is not dead in spite of its visible collapse.
Within 48 hours of the controversial competition’s announcement, the six involved English clubs pulled out following pressure from the press and supporters. They were then followed by the Italian teams and Spain’s Atletico Madrid, while Barcelona is said to be reflecting on the situation.
Speaking to Spanish radio, Pérez said that he was “sad and disappointed” at the situation, but said that all of the clubs involved had signed contracts and that none had formally withdrawn.
He said: ““There was one of the English clubs who didn’t seem so interested and that spread to the rest. They signed the contract but we could already see that they were not convinced. And then the avalanche started, the Premier League ‘heating things up’. They said: ‘We’re going to pull out for now’. There was a club that you could tell wasn’t as interested but they worked with us and signed up.”
The Madrid president said that the English clubs only pulled out “Because they saw the atmosphere.”
He went on to say that “UEFA turned it into a show. It was as if we had dropped an atomic bomb. Maybe we didn’t explain it well but they didn’t give us the chance to. Why? Because they didn’t want us to. I have never seen such aggressiveness; it was orchestrated. The next day they killed us. They were waiting for us. I think they knew we were going to do it. There were threats, insults, as if we had killed football.”
While the 74 year-old Pérez said that the Super League was on “standby” with a “very similar” competition likely to be created soon, Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli – who was another key player in the competition’s formation – told Reuters that the Super League cannot go ahead. When asked whether the competition is still viable, Agnelli said: ““To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case.”
The executive said that he remains “convinced of the beauty of that project” but that “I don’t think that that project is now still up and running.”
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29 November 2021 @ 19:30:00 UTC