Real Madrid president Florentino Perez claims the proposed European Super League would be good for football.
Perez has been confirmed as the head of the new competition which has been backed by 12 clubs in England, Spain and Italy.
The proposals have been heavily criticised since the details were announced this past Sunday.
The 12 clubs in question have faced accusations of greed and selfishness, while the 20-team annual tournament is widely seen as anti-competitive.
However, Perez insists he is not acting in self-interest and believes the Super League will benefit the sport as a whole.
‘[We are doing it] to save the more modest clubs, before the chance to save them has gone,’ the Madrid honcho told El Chingruito.
‘This will save everyone. Football is going through a really delicate moment. The worst in 20 years. It won’t disappear but it could slip down to a different level, if the youngsters aren’t interested in it.
‘We’re fighting for the future of football. There are people who aren’t taking this seriously.
‘We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world. Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four-billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires.’
Uefa says it will strongly oppose any attempts to launch a breakaway competition, with European football’s governing body threatening to ban players and clubs who participate in the Super League from international competitions such as the European Championship and the Champions League.
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin also criticised Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, two of the architects of the plan.
Perez dismissed the organisation’s claims about potential bans for players and clubs, before directing his ire at Ceferin.
‘Every player can be calm because that’s not going to happen,’ he said of the threat of suspensions. ‘They won’t be banned if they join the Super League.
‘Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea will not be banned from the Champions League or domestic leagues. Impossible, I can assure you of that. 100%, it won’t happen, the law protects us. This is impossible.
‘President Ceferin insulted Andrea Agnelli today, it is not possible. It’s crazy to discuss a president of a world club like Juventus. This is something unacceptable, Uefa must change, we don’t want a president who insults other presidents.
‘Why aren’t Uefa and LaLiga salaries public? Why haven’t salaries been reduced like everyone else during the pandemic? We need more transparency. We know the salary of LeBron James but we don’t know the salary of the Uefa president.’
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