Florentino: “Ceferin spoke with politicians and told them lies”

Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid, is keeping his word and is coming out to explain the European Super League project, which he himself presides, all that he can. On Monday he was at 'El Chiringuito' with Josep Pedrerol, this Tuesday he will go to the Cadena SER studios to chat with Manu Carreño at 'El Larguero' and has also conceded an interview with the French newspaper 'L'Équipe' in which he tries to argue the position that the 12 founding clubs have taken over.

Why did you create the European Super League?

Last season's club losses set by KPMG are about € 5 billion. This season they will be three times more important. Football is in a terrible situation. Even before the pandemic, we had detected that soccer had less interest, that it was seen less on television because there were many games that were not of interest. And what is most worrying is that it is a young audience. Especially among 16-24 year olds. 40% of them no longer watch these games. The entertainment offer is much broader and football is gradually disappearing from the preferences of young people. We have already noticed that there is a problem. And then came the pandemic that is destroying us all. By making this proposal, our goal is to save football. Some say that the rich want to be even richer and impoverish the poor. It is quite the opposite.

How would you explain the project in two minutes?

By generating more income we can increase solidarity. Today, UEFA pays a little more than 100 million in solidarity, we would give more than 400 million from the beginning. When you have money, you can show solidarity with everyone. But, with its monopoly, UEFA does not want to change anything because it has its privileges. Soccer is slowly dying. The effect of the current crisis will be devastating. We have lost appeal to our audience and especially to young people.

Are those 400 million of solidarity guaranteed?

Yeah right. With us, the smaller clubs will get much more money.

Do you understand the position of UEFA and Ceferin?

UEFA attacks us saying that our whole project is based on the greed of the big clubs. Unlike. Soccer is a pyramid, and if the big clubs at the top run out of money, it won't go down. We will speak to European politicians. They told them that we were going to jeopardize the leagues, that we always wanted to be richer. This is nonsense and it was believed. UEFA, like LaLiga, must be more transparent. Everyone has struggled during the pandemic, the club's employees have lowered their salaries. I don't know if UEFA has made these efforts, as there is no transparency. And I think she and LaLiga made no effort.

Has UEFA failed to prevent that decline?

We have been working on this project for three years and we have told UEFA that things have to change for three years. They never listened to us. I hope that we can talk together soon and that UEFA sees that our Super League is like the Euroleague in basketball. We don't want to compete against others. In basketball, there are always the leagues and the Euroleague. In addition, Bayern Munich (who refused to participate in the Super League) is present with us in the Euroleague. This competition saved basketball in Europe. We do not understand the swift will of the UEFA president to denigrate us. We sent him a letter asking to explain the project. In return, threats and insults. That will work against you. UEFA has always had privileges, but life has changed.

PSG and Bayern are missing …

We need to invite them at the right time because there is a lot of pressure around them right now. I'm sure they will eventually join us, but we haven't spoken to them yet.

Nasser Al Khelaifi (PSG president) is a good friend of yours …

Yes, he is my friend, but he is also very close to the UEFA president.

How do you see the criticism so far?

The reactions are negative because some have told lies. They said that the Super League would be completely closed, that is not true. That we do not highlight the merit is false. There are teams that will enter the Super League thanks to sporting merit. They said the leagues were going to disappear, that's not true. The problem is that the UEFA president has spoken to politicians and told them lies.

Maybe you have explained yourself wrong …

The UEFA president has taken the lead. We are not against football, we want to save it. UEFA has been working on a new format for 2024 that no one understands. But, if we do nothing, by 2024, we will all be dead. UEFA didn't want our project, so they made it up. The equation today is reform or die and the UEFA president prefers to die.

There are 15 teams that will not need merits to get there …

With 15 clubs we will get much more money in terms of television rights and marketing, as that guarantees stability. The five that will enter the competition will have the possibility of having matches against giants at home.

But access will be very difficult …

But, also today, they have little chance.

Will clubs like Lens or Metz be able to arrive?

Yes, they will be able to access. And Lens, which is a good training club, will be able to sell its players to the best clubs. What you can no longer do today with the crisis. What is happening in football right now is like what happened in 2008 with the financial crisis.

Was the time to announce it right?

Today is already late and tomorrow it will be impossible. The ECA (European Club Association) announces that clubs lost 5 billion euros last season. Why wait? We, the clubs, are in a survival situation at the moment and the UEFA president does not want to realize it. For example, you would like the owners of English clubs to hand over € 100 million to € 200 million each season to make up for losses. They can do it once, but not every year. There are no more solutions than the one we propose. My message is: “Let's save football, not just the rich or the poor. Save everyone. “We, the big clubs, are the ones who can save all of football.

Madrid forged its legend in the European Cup. Some say that now he wants to destroy her …

In 1955, the Madrid of Santiago Bernabéu created the Champions Cup with the newspaper 'L'Équipe'. At that time, UEFA was against this project, FIFA as well. How can we think today that we want to go against the European Cup? Madrid has a historical responsibility: to change, at the right moment, the reality of football, which is slowly dying. We have to do something. It is my responsibility as president. I am happy to lead this project for all of football.

Are you afraid that some clubs will get off the boat?

No. The situation is so serious that everyone agrees to carry out this project and seek a solution. No one was pressured.

And the sanctions, for example in this Champions League?

Of course we will play. Threats and insults are not the right way. There will be no penalties because we are protected by law. And by common sense.

Are you in favor of reducing the playing time of matches?

No, even if it is true that young people leave if the game is not intense and of quality. We have to make them more interesting.

They only think of entering more. Shouldn't clubs also think about lowering expenses?

We are in a time of change and Madrid has always been at the forefront of development, both in the 1950s and in the 1990s and today.

Are you worried that your project will not be successful?

We will work to make this happen. We believe that this is the best and that it is our responsibility. We are ready to talk to everyone to save football.