Chairman of the 'European Super League' says that they are doing it to 'save football'

PA MEDIA image captionFans protested against the European Super League outside Old Trafford on Monday

The new European Super League's chairman has defended the competition, claiming that those involved are trying to save football.

"We're doing this to save football, which is in a crucial moment," Florentino Perez, who is also the president of Real Madrid, told El Chiringuito TV.

"The major clubs in England, Italy, and Spain must find a way out of a dire situation in which football finds itself."

"The best way to make money from admissions is to create more competitive, more appealing games that fans all over the world can see."

AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Tottenham Hotspur have all signed up as founding members of the Super League, earning massive financial incentives at a time when takings have been hampered by coronavirus restrictions.

Fans, former footballers, and politicians have slammed them, with many describing them as selfish and warning that the proposed competition would damage the sport.

The plans were criticized by UEFA, the FA, the Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A in a joint statement, and legal action was not ruled out.

It also sought to exclude players from competing in all other domestic, European, or international tournaments, effectively barring them from representing their countries.

"Football, like life, has to change," Mr. Perez said.

"Football needs to evolve and adapt to the times we live in."

"We needed to make a change to make this sport more appealing on a global scale, so we came up with a very simple idea."

The 14 Premier League clubs that aren't in the Super League will meet virtually on Tuesday, chaired by chief executive Richard Masters, to address the situation.

Other places Later today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a round table discussion with representatives from the FA and the Premier League, as well as fans' representatives.

Prior to the conference, the PM told football fans that he would do everything in his power to send the "ridiculous" new league a "straight red."

He spent much of Monday claiming he didn't want the new league to proceed "in the way it's currently being proposed."

"It is your game - and you can rest assured that I'm going to do whatever I can to give this ridiculous scheme a straight red," Mr. Johnson wrote to fans in The Sun on Tuesday.

"Football clubs in every town and city, and at every tier of the pyramid, have a special position at the heart of their communities, and are an unrivaled source of enthusiastic civic pride," he said.

"And the joy of the game's current structure, which has kept people coming back year after year, generation after generation, is that even the longest time of frustration is made bearable by the chance, however distant, of seeing them rising up one day."

Jurgen Klopp, the manager of Liverpool, has confirmed that his position on a European Super League has not changed.

"After all, if Leicester City can win the Premier League and Nottingham Forest can win the European Cup twice in a row, then maybe, just maybe, your team can do the same."

"However, it can only happen if the playing field is even vaguely leveled and everyone has the potential to advance."

Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, told Sky News that the league was "dreamed up by money men" and that it "must be stopped."

He said the government could enact legislation and impose penalties to prevent it from happening, but that the six clubs should first "move back" from the proposals put forward.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Monday night that his position had not changed because he said in 2019 that he hoped such a competition would "never happen."

On Monday, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, former United captain Roy Keane, and former Football Association and Manchester City chairman David Bernstein were among the most outspoken critics, all of whom chastised the new league's teams for their "greed."

Publish : 2021-04-20 12:32:00

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