Sports

Madrid president says Super League club ‘can’t leave plan’

MADRID (AP) – The president of Real Madrid insists on all 12 clubs that have signed up for the super-legged Super League that are still bound by contract to launch the controversial breakaway of Europe’s elite football teams.

In an interview with Spanish sports daily AS on Saturday, Madrid president Florentino Perez said the club cannot return like some have announced.

“The fact is, can’t leave the club,” Perez said. “Some, because of the pressure, had to say they would leave. But this project, or something similar, will happen, and I hope it will happen in the near future. “

All six English clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – pulled away from the offer within 48 hours of their unveiling last weekend due to a backlash by fans and officials. Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan followed suit one day later.

Barcelona have maintained their support for Joan LaPorta, a project chairman, saying their troubled club’s finances are “absolutely necessary”, while acknowledging that critics of the plan should be listened to.

Italian heavyweight Juventus and AC Milan admitted that the project was not going anywhere immediately, while the latter left open the possibility of joining a Super League.

The 74-year-old Perez, who has presided over Madrid for the past two decades, was considered the first chairman of the 20-team Super League that will replace the UEFA-run Champions League.

Perez denied reports that American financier JP Morgan Chase had also abandoned the project.

“It’s not true, they haven’t given up either. They’ve taken the time to reflect like 12 clubs,” he said. “If something needs to change, it will be changed, but the Super League is the best project. Is what we thought could be done. “

The President of Madrid maintained his position that the epidemic had exacerbated financial troubles in the face of big clubs, which he said had a dwindling interest among young people on football.

He predicted a dire future for his club and others.

“Either we fix it … or all clubs go bankrupt,” he said. “With bankruptcy there will be a revolt of the teams, as the only ones left will be state-financed clubs or owners of crores who, for their own amusement, will lose millions (of euros) each season.”

Critics of the plan, which does not include UEFA, the National League and the club, say the Super League will do more harm than good by concentrating revenue in fewer hands.

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