'Not dead': Bombshell twist in European Super League fiasco

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Florentino Perez (pictured left) during a Real Madrid match and Aston Villa fans (pictured right) protesting against the Super League.
Florentino Perez (pictured left) made a controversial interview after claiming the Super League wasn't dead despite mass protest (pictured right). (Getty Images)

Real Madrid president and Super League chairman Florentino Perez claimed the competition is 'not dead' despite the majority of teams withdrawing.

On Wednesday, the controversial European Super League was in tatters, with all six EPL clubs withdrawing from the $6 billion breakaway league.

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The English Premier League clubs sensationally confirmed their intention to pull out of the proposed project on Tuesday.

On Thursday, reports suggested Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid also announced their intention to withdraw.

This prompted Perez to claim he was open to altering the format as long as the big clubs with “most fans and most social media followers” were guaranteed a place.

Perez said “four from each place” could qualify but did not explain more fully.

However, he was adamant the Super League project was not dead and that he was still talking with the four remaining clubs, Real, Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan (amid reports they have withdrawn).

“The project is on stand-by,” Perez told Spanish radio program El Larguero. “We are going to keep working.”

“I'm convinced that if this project doesn’t work another similar one will.”

Twelve of Europe's top football clubs – six from England, and three each from Spain and Italy - announced on Sunday they were launching the controversial breakaway Super League in the face of widespread opposition from within the game and beyond.

Perez takes aim at English clubs

Perez even took aim at the six English clubs that were the first to withdraw from the controversial competition.

“There was someone in the English six clubs who did not have much interest," he said.

"That started to affect the others, there was fear. One of the English clubs was never really convinced.”

He then pointed the finger towards Chelsea and alleged someone had organised for the protesters to turn up outside Stamford Bridge and stage a scene.

 Fans gather outside the stadium to protest against the European Super League prior to the La Liga Santander match between Cadiz CF and Real Madrid.
Fans gather outside the stadium to protest against the European Super League prior to the La Liga Santander match between Cadiz CF and Real Madrid. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Perez, without giving any information to back up his allegations, went on to claim it was the same group that handed Cadiz supporters t-shirts (that protested against the Super League) before the game against Real Madrid.

The Real Madrid president then went on to use a tennis analogy between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

He claimed the Super League was needed to create more blockbuster match-ups to generate money.

“It cannot be that in England, the six lose money, and 14 make money. In Spain the top three lose money, and the others make money. It cannot continue - at the moment the rich are those who are losing money," he added.

“This is a pyramid, and the money runs down, there would be money for everyone. If Nadal plays Federer, everyone watches, if Nadal plays the number 80 in the world, nobody watches. We have to do Federer-Nadal every Tuesday and Wednesday.

A fan kicks a ball in front of a banner reacting to the collapse of the planned creation of a European Super League.
A fan kicks a ball in front of a banner reacting to the collapse of the planned creation of a European Super League. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images)

“Football is maintained by the biggest clubs - it always has been. Cristiano v Messi was great, not just for Madrid and Barca, but for Spanish football, and football in general."

Perez said during the interview that the Super League is 'not dead'.

Fallout from Super League drama

Manchester United's share price had taken an extraordinary hit since the announcement it was joining the Super League.

On a day of rapid developments that left the Super League concept in danger of collapsing just two days after it had been announced, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward flagged his intention to resign.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had threatened to introduce laws to stop clubs forming a new European competition, praised the development.

"The decision by Chelsea and Manchester City is - if confirmed - absolutely the right one and I commend them for it," he wrote on Twitter.

"I hope the other clubs involved in the European Super League will follow their lead."

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