Florentino Perez has stated that soccer is “sick” and “dropping the worldwide leisure battle” with U.S. sports activities, backing the dormant European Tremendous League (ESL) challenge as the best way to retain its place because the world’s hottest sport.
The Actual Madrid president — who was talking on the membership’s annual normal assembly (AGM) on Sunday — has been one of many breakaway competitors’s most high-profile backers since its tried launch in April 2021.
The ESL and soccer’s governing our bodies are awaiting a ruling from the European Court docket of Justice, due in December, on whether or not UEFA’s makes an attempt to dam the Tremendous League breached European competitors legal guidelines.
“To repair an issue, you must first recognise that you’ve an issue,” Perez stated. “Our sport is sick. It is dropping its management as a world sport … We mustn’t be confused by the impression of Actual Madrid’s European Cup run [in the Champions League last season] after we had been concerned in seven video games of the best depth and curiosity.
“That was the results of the draw, and of the standard and greatness of our crew. It was a spectacle that helped carry pleasure again to the viewers. That is why we consider European competitions should change, to supply followers top-level video games year-round between the strongest groups, with the perfect gamers competing.”
Perez in contrast the variety of instances that main European golf equipment face one another to the variety of top-level conferences in different sports activities.
“In tennis, [Rafa] Nadal and [Roger] Federer have performed 40 instances in 15 years. Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic have performed 59 matches in 16 years,” he stated. “In soccer we have solely performed Liverpool 9 instances in 67 years. We have performed Chelsea 4 instances within the historical past of the European Cup. What sense does it make to deprive followers of all these video games?”
Perez highlighted a latest Forbes rating which recommended soccer golf equipment are falling behind sports activities groups in america.
“We had been high in all sports activities, and now we have fallen to thirteenth,” he stated. “We have been overtaken by 12 golf equipment from American sports activities. They should be doing one thing very effectively in america and really badly in Europe … Soccer is dropping the worldwide leisure battle in opposition to different sports activities and different platforms.”
Actual Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are the remaining three of the ESL’s 12 founding golf equipment who’ve maintained their public assist for the challenge, after the withdrawal of its six Premier League members — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester Metropolis, Manchester United and Tottenham — sparked its collapse in April 2021.
“We want knowledgeable, fashionable, clear administration, not based mostly on previous buildings designed within the final century,” Perez stated. “Not too long ago the chairman of the European Golf equipment’ Affiliation [Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi] stated — speaking in regards to the Tremendous League — that Actual Madrid are afraid of the competitors. Possibly the president of the ECA needs to be reminded who Actual Madrid are. Competitors is in our DNA.”