Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has hit back at claims that Super League teams will be expelled from European competition and domestic leagues.
Manchester United and Man City were two of 12 clubs to announce they will be joining a breakaway European competition that will effectively look to usurp the Champions League in a move that has caused civil war to break out in football.
Speaking to El Chiringuito, Perez gave an explosive interview about the European Super League and the motivations behind it.
Here is everything he said, via Fabrizio Romano.
On teams being expelled from Europe and players being unable to take part in international tournaments
UEFA have threatened to expel these clubs from this season’s European competitions, meaning United and City would no longer be able to compete in their semi-finals in the Champions League and Europa League respectively.
Yet Perez played down this suggestion, and also said he did not expect players in the Super League to be banned from international matches.
“Players banned from international competitions and national teams according to UEFA?
“Don’t worry, this will not happen. They won’t be banned if they join the Super League.”
He added: “Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea, and the other clubs of the Super League, will not be banned from the Champions League or domestic leagues, 100 per cent.
“I’m sure. Impossible.”
On the clubs’ financial health
Perez says that clubs across Europe have been forced into forming a Super League due to the impact of Coivd-19 on finances.
The Real Madrid president went on to argue that football is in a position where it needs to evolve.
He said; “Many important clubs in Spain, Italy and UK want to find a solution to a very bad financial situation.
“The only way is to play more competitive games. If instead of playing the Champions League, the Super League helps the clubs to recover the lost earnings.
“Here at Real Madrid we’ve lost a lot of money, we are all going through a very bad situation. When there is no profit, the only way is to play more competitive games during the week.
“The Super League will save the clubs financially.”
He added: “Football must evolve like everything in life. Football has to adapt to the times we live in now.
“Football is losing interest, TV rights are decreasing. We wanted to do the Super League, the pandemic has given us urgency: now we are all ruined in football.”
On the impact on smaller clubs
Despite arguments that the Super League will only serve to make the rich richer, Perez says it will generate income across football.
He said: “The attractive thing in football is playing between big clubs, the value for television increases and more income is generated. It’s not just the rich who want the Super League, we’re doing it to save football because it’s at a critical moment.
“It will become like a pyramid because we big clubs will have more money and we will be able to invest it by buying players.
“If the big clubs lose their money as is happening, the whole football system crashes as with the Champions League.”
On the Super League format and clubs rejecting the idea
“The Super League is not a closed league, it’s absolutely not true.
“Whoever wins the five available spots will be able to play with the other best teams in the world.
“We will speak to UEFA as we said in the statement. We have to discuss with UEFA the five spots available in the Super League.
“UEFA has been working on the new format of the Champions League but I honestly don’t understand it.
“We want to save football.”
He added: “UEFA is a monopoly but it needs to be more transparent. We want to save football for the next 20 years, it is in a time of serious danger. If you win, you receive €120 to € 130m from UEFA but with the Super League we will earn much more.
“Even in the Premier League, if the top clubs are economically stronger, all the other clubs will also become stronger. It is a consequence.
“We want to dialogue with UEFA as we proposed in the Super League, we want to save football.”
Perez also shot down talk that PSG, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund had all rejected invitations for the tournament.
He said: “PSG were not invited, as of today. We haven’t even spoken to German clubs.
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“We are now 12 clubs, we want to become 15 clubs. If PSG and Bayern Munich refuse, the Super League competition will not be cancelled. This is bulls**t.
“The 15 founding clubs are the ones that matter the most in terms of entertainment.
“Others like Napoli and Roma will have a chance to be in the competition one year or another and then let’s see.
“The contract of the Super League is binding. Nobody can leave, we will work all together. All the clubs signed the contracts last Saturday, there’s no problem.”
Perez’ interview continued further and he even suggested that matches could be made shorter, that the Super League could get a second division and called for more transparency with wages.
“Why aren’t UEFA and La Liga salaries public?” he asked. “Why haven’t salaries been reduced like everyone else during the pandemic? We need more transparency. We know the salary of LeBron James but we don’t know the salary of the UEFA president.
“If young people say football matches are too long, maybe it’s because that match isn’t too interesting or maybe we have to shorten the length of matches.
“There could be a second division of Super League, for example.”