The European Super League is on “standby” despite nine of the 12 founding teams withdrawing, says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
After a furious backlash against the proposed tournament that was announced on Sunday, all six Premier League clubs involved withdrew on Tuesday.
Spanish club Atletico Madrid and Italian sides AC Milan and Inter Milan have also formally pulled out. “We’re going to continue working,” said Perez. “The project is on standby.”
With all the Super League stuff going on… can we please also speak about the new Champions League format? More and more and more games, is no one thinking about us players?
The new UCL format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League…
— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) April 22, 2021
On Thursday night Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan raised concerns over plans to change the Champions League by adding more matches, saying it was just the “lesser of two evils” compared to the ESL.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have not withdrawn from the ESL, although Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said the project could not now proceed.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta echoed Perez’s comments, saying a new competition is required to ensure the financial health of the game.
“We will speak more about it when the time comes but for now we understand there is a need for it, even though our members will have the final say,” Laporta told Catalan network TV3.
“Big clubs contribute a lot of resources and it’s absolutely necessary that we have our say on the distribution of money [in European football].”
Laporta was named Barca president for a second time in March, taking the helm of a club in heavy debt.
Javier Tebas, president of Spain’s La Liga, said: “If it [the Super League] was good for football, as Perez has said, they wouldn’t have done it behind our backs.”
On whether their would be sanctions from La Liga for the Spanish clubs, he added: “We are not talking about sanctions.
“Everyone wants to cut people’s heads off. We have to have a procedure and we have to see how it looks in the end. These clubs have been sanctioned by their own fans.”