"We created European Super League to save football" - Real Madrid President Florentino Perez (Video)
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says the European Super League will "save football at this critical moment" and insists players taking part in the competition will not be banned from representing their national teams.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says the European Super League was created "to save football at this critical moment".
Real Madrid are part of the 12 leading European clubs that created the new midweek tournament.
Florentino Perez who is the chairman of the Super League spoke for the first time since the announcement saying football needed to evolve as young people are "no longer interested in football" due to "a lot of poor quality games".
"Whenever there is a change, there are always people who oppose it. We are doing this to save football at this critical moment," Perez said on the Spanish TV show El Chiringuito de Jugones.
"Audiences are decreasing and rights are decreasing and something had to be done. We are all ruined. Television has to change so we can adapt.
"Young people are no longer interested in football. Why not? Because there are a lot of poor quality games and they are not interested, they have other platforms on which to distract themselves."
Other clubs that are part of the Super League are Real Madrid La Liga rivals Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Premier League clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur.
Italian giants Juventus, AC Milan and Juventus complete the list of founding members which stand at 12.
Three members will be included to make the teams 15 and five others will qualify to join them each year.
Perez said top clubs lost about €5 billion, which is largely caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic and that the announcement of the new Champions League format by UEFA is a wrong move.
"If we continue with the Champions League there is less and less interest and then it's over," he said. The new format, which starts in 2024 is absurd. In 2024 we are all dead.
"Together we have lost €5 billion," he said of the top clubs' alleged losses. "In two seasons Madrid have lost €400m.
"When you have no income other than television, you say that the solution is to make more attractive matches that fans from all over the world can see with all the big clubs, and we came to the conclusion that if instead of having a Champions League we have a Super League we would be able to alleviate what we have lost."
Perez also responded to UEFA President Aleksander Cerefrin, who had said players who are part of the new tournament will be banned from the Euros and World Cup.
"[The players] can remain absolutely calm because that's not going to happen. Very calm, that's not going to happen," Perez said.
Asked if Real Madrid will be kicked out of this season's Champions League, he added: "No, they won't be expelled from Champions (League), that's for sure.
"Real Madrid won't be, (Manchester) City won't be, none of them will be expelled, that's for sure. I'm completely sure of it. Not from Champions (League), not from La Liga, nothing like that.
"If we reach an agreement with UEFA we want to start (the new league) in August, if not, we can wait a year."
The move has plunged the game of football into turmoil and triggered widespread condemnation across both sport and society, but Perez brushed off the criticism and played up the prospect of more big games.
"What's so attractive? That we play among the big teams, the competitiveness, to generate more resources?" he added.
"This is not a league for the rich, it's a league to save football."