The chairman of the newly-formed European Super League, Florentino Perez, says they have set up the competition to ‘save football at this critical moment’.
The breakaway league, which will have fifteen core teams, plus five coming in through qualification, will serve as an alternative to UEFA’s Champions League and the Europa League.
Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are the six English clubs involved, together with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid from Spain and Italian trio Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Speaking for the first time since announcing the new tournament on Sunday, Perez, who is also the president of Real Madrid, said football needed to evolve.
“Whenever there is a change, there are always people who oppose it. We are doing this to save football at this critical moment,” he said on Spanish TV show El Chiringuito de Jugones, as cited on Sky Sports website.
“Audiences are decreasing and rights are decreasing and something had to be done. We are all ruined. Television has to change so we can adapt.
“Young people are no longer interested in football. Why not? Because there are a lot of poor quality games and they are not interested, they have other platforms on which to distract themselves.”
Perez stressed the expanded Champions League announced by UEFA on Monday was not the answer to their financial woes.
“If we continue with the Champions League there is less and less interest and then it’s over,” he said. The new format, which starts in 2024 is absurd. In 2024 we are all dead.
“Together we have lost €5billion,” he said of the top clubs’ alleged losses. “In two seasons Madrid have lost €400m.
“When you have no income other than television, you say that the solution is to make more attractive matches that fans from all over the world can see with all the big clubs, and we came to the conclusion that if instead of having a Champions League we have a Super League we would be able to alleviate what we have lost.”