European Super League: Florentino Perez vows breakaway competition will 'take football to its rightful place'

By Sports Desk April 18, 2021

Florentino Perez, the first chairman of the European Super League (ESL), has vowed that the breakaway competition "will help football and take it to its rightful place in the world".

It was announced on Sunday that 12 of Europe's leading football clubs have agreed to establish a new midweek competition to rival the Champions League.

Six English clubs, three Italian sides and three Spanish teams have joined forces to create the tournament, despite significant opposition from UEFA and the respective leagues.

A statement released on Sunday read: "AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atletico de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs. 

"It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.

"Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole."

Perez was announced as the chairman of the ESL, which he will balance with his duties as Real Madrid president.

Despite the widespread criticism aimed at the founding clubs involved, with the English Football Association (FA) warning it would hurt football "at all levels", Perez insisted it is a move that will be good for the game.

"We will help football at every level and take it to its rightful place in the world," he said.  "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."

The rogue competition has also been given the full backing of Juventus chairman and newly appointed ESL vice-chairman Andrea Agnelli, whose role as European Club Association (ECA) chairman and a member of the UEFA executive committee has been cast in doubt.

"Our 12 founder clubs represent billions of fans across the globe and 99 European trophies," he said. 

"We have come together at this critical moment, enabling European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the long-term future, substantially increasing solidarity, and giving fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game while providing them with engaging role models."

Related items

  • LaLiga confirms eight-year US broadcasting deal with ESPN LaLiga confirms eight-year US broadcasting deal with ESPN
  • DC United 1-0 Chicago Fire: Flores winner ends three-game losing run DC United 1-0 Chicago Fire: Flores winner ends three-game losing run

    DC United have claimed their second win of the 2021 MLS season and condemned Chicago Fire to four consecutive defeats after a 1-0 victory on Thursday.

    Peru international Edison Flores came up with the winner, netting his first goal for DC United with a header in the seventh minute.

    Adrien Perez broke on the left side of the box and showed composure on the byline with a pinpoint cutback for Flores to head home.

    United's German defender Julian Gressel came close twice with a curling early free-kick as well as a 21st minute strike which cannoned into the crossbar.

    Chicago also hit the woodwork when 17-year-old Brian Gutierrez's hit a left-foot shot which beat United keeper Jonathan Kempin but not the post.

    The win, in United's first home game since their opening weekend win over New York City, ends their three-game losing run and lifts them up to sixth in the Eastern Conference.

    The Fire remain winless, with only one point from five games and are second last in the Eastern Conference.

  • Watzke insists there's no 'economic need' to sell Haaland Watzke insists there's no 'economic need' to sell Haaland

    Borussia Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke insists there is no economic need to sell Erling Haaland amid speculation he will remain in Germany until next year.

    Haaland netted a double as Dortmund won the DFB-Pokal final 4-1 over RB Leipzig, with Jadon Sancho also chipping in with a brace.

    The title is a major boost for Dortmund's hopes of retaining Haaland, who has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea this off-season.

    Dortmund's uplift in Bundesliga form, which has seen them move into the Champions League spots, has also aided their cause to convince the Norwegian to stay.

    "You always have fears in my job," Watzke said after Thursday's DFB-Pokal victory.

    "We definitely want to keep Erling with us next season. You can see his value, you saw how committed he is last Saturday against Leipzig, with joy.

    "Besides we still have it in our own hands, we just have to win twice more now. We have managed the club solidly for so many years, when we go into the second or third year of the coronavirus, then we have to take out a few loans at some point we will pay them back.

    "But there is absolutely no economic need to sell him, regardless of whether it is a Europa League or Champions League."

    Watzke also casually revealed that interim head coach Edin Terzic had extended his deal with the club to presumably work as an assistant under Marco Rose.

    "Edin Terzic did a great job," he said. "He took over the team in December, it was half dead, and he brought it to life. That is a huge achievement at his first coaching station.

    "He's holding the keys in his hand. He extended a long-term contract a few weeks ago.

    "He's a Dortmund boy, he lives and breathes the club. If Edin wants to do something different, then we have to work with him. But we won't do that now."

    Terzic was delighted with the DFB-Pokal success but remained focused on the bigger picture, with Dortmund determined to confirm a top four league spot with two games to play.

    "That was definitely not our best game, but we found the key to success," he said.

    "Now we all deserve to enjoy this evening tonight but the season is not over for us yet."

    Outgoing Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who will finish his time at the club without a trophy, said it was a "painful" loss.

    "You can imagine that I'm not doing well but it's not about me, it's about the club," he said.

    "It's painful. I know what the headlines are like now… We still have two Bundesliga games that are not that pleasant. I'm not thinking about my move [to Bayern Munich] now.

    "I'm proud of the boys. "We weren't the worse team, we just scored fewer goals. Dortmund makes a lot out of a little."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.