Florentino Perez is eager to revive the much-maligned European Super League (ESL) project after claiming that football is “sick” and believes urgent steps must be made to reform the game.
The Real Madrid president was one of the ESL’s key protagonists, as 12 clubs across Europe sought to establish a competition that would rival the UEFA Champions League.
However, widespread opposition from fans, players and politicians alike ultimately forced all but three of the clubs to publicly remove themselves from the idea, including all six of the invited Premier League clubs.
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The European Court of Justice is now expected to give a ruling on whether UEFA’s attempts to block the ESL have breached European competitions laws, with the decision expected in December.
"To fix a problem, you have to first recognise that you have a problem," he said at the club’s annual general meeting on Sunday.
"Our sport is sick. It's losing its leadership as a global sport. We must not be confused by the impact of Real Madrid's European Cup run [in the Champions League last season] when we were involved in seven games of the highest intensity and interest.
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"That was the result of the draw, and of the quality and greatness of our team. It was a spectacle that helped bring excitement back to the viewers. That's why we believe European competitions must change, to offer fans top-level games year-round between the strongest teams, with the best players competing."
The Los Blancos president also drew comparisons with tennis and the match-ups between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic over the years.
He also drew attention to research undertaken by Forbes, which emphasised how far football clubs had fallen behind United States franchises.
"In tennis, [Rafa] Nadal and [Roger] Federer have played 40 times in 15 years. Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic have played 59 matches in 16 years," he said. "In football we've only played Liverpool nine times in 67 years. We've played Chelsea four times in the history of the European Cup. What sense does it make to deprive fans of all these games?
"We were top in all sports, and now we've fallen to 13th. We've been overtaken by 12 clubs from American sports. They must be doing something very well in the United States and very badly in Europe. Football is losing the global entertainment battle against other sports and other platforms."
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Real Madrid, along with Barcelona and Juventus are the remaining three of the ESL’s founding clubs to maintain their support for the project. Perez is among those to receive a huge raft of criticism for the idea and launched an attacked on European Club Association and Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
"We need a professional, modern, transparent management, not based on old structures designed in the last century," he added.
"Recently the chairman of the European Clubs' Association said - talking about the Super League - that Real Madrid are afraid of the competition. Maybe the president of the ECA has to be reminded who Real Madrid are. Competition is in our DNA."
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