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Need Super League to tide over losses from pandemic: Perez

IANS | New Delhi |

Florentino Perez remains adamant the European Super League must go ahead as ‘football is severely damaged’, with the Real Madrid president suggesting the possibility of the top-four teams from each country featuring in the breakaway competition.

Plans for a Super League to rival UEFA’s Champions League were announced on Sunday, with 12 founding members — Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Juventus, Inter and Milan.

But after widespread criticism from UEFA, FIFA, clubs, governments, fans and pundits, all six Premier League clubs pulled out, while Atletico, Inter, Milan and Juve followed suit, DPA reports.

Perez, who had been appointed as chairman of the competition, has continued to stress the need for the Super League and he flagged the idea of moving away from an exclusive group of clubs.

“These things get manipulated. It is not a plan which excludes clubs and nor is it designed to go against other leagues. The Super League project is the best possible solution, and it has been created to help football get out of the crisis. Football is severely damaged because its economy has been ruined and it has to adapt to the new era we are living in,” Perez said.

“The Super League does not go against domestic competitions and its objective is to ensure that more money is available for all sections of football. The concept is to generate more interest for the games. Nor do I think that the changes which UEFA have made are a real solution to the problem because what has been proposed isn’t even an improvement on the current model.

“Also, we cannot wait until 2024. But in any case, we must have done something badly. We are going to try to turn this around and develop more ideas. Maybe the solution is for the top four teams in every league to play. I don’t know, but something needs to be done because today’s youth, those between 14 and 24 years of age, are abandoning football because they see it as being boring compared to the other forms of entertainment which they prefer,” he said.

“There are four billion football fans all over the world and half of them are fans of the clubs in the Super League. Football is the only global sport.

“By the end of this season, with the pandemic still ongoing, the losses will be between 2,000 and 2,500 million euros. Girondins Bordeaux have recently gone into administration. Either we do something soon or many more clubs will go under.”