ESL: Real Madrid President says ‘12 clubs cannot leave’ and JP Morgan ‘still on board’
The 12 founding football clubs of the European Super League (ESL) cannot leave the ESL due to binding contracts, according to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. He has also promised the project will return after a period of reflection.
The European Super League was announced last Sunday and met with widespread backlash, it fell apart just days later. The six English clubs involved withdrew and others followed. Only 3 out of the original twelve remains.
But Perez – a leading figure in the breakaway competition – says it’s not so easy for clubs to leave.
“I don’t need to explain what a binding contract is but effectively, the clubs cannot leave,” Perez told Spanish newspaper AS.
“Some of them, due to pressure, have said they’re leaving. But this project, or one very similar, will move forward and I hope very soon.”
The ESL was dealt another blow on Friday when JPMorgan, who had provided a 3.5 billion euro (£3 billion) grant to the founding clubs, said it had “misjudged how the deal would be viewed”.
Perez, however, said the bank was still on board.
“It’s not true they’ve withdrawn. They have taken some time for reflection, just like the 12 clubs. If we need to make changes we will but the Super League is the best project we’ve thought of,” he added.
“The partnership still exists as do the members who comprise the Super League. What we have done is taken a few weeks to reflect in light of the fury of certain people who don’t want to lose their privileges and have manipulated the project.”
European Super League is ‘best option’
The Super League was devised in secret among club bosses and financiers and fell apart from widespread backlash from fans, sports heroes, royals, and even the Prime Minister.
Perez says the need for a new competition is due to the Covid pandemic, and it will boost clubs struggling to cope. He says the 12 Super League clubs had a combined 650 million euros last year and stood to lose up to 2.5 billion euros this year.
Perez is not convinced by UEFA’s next reform of the Champions League – the competition will be expanded to 36 teams from 2024.
“The Super League is the best possible project to help football come out of the crisis. Football is gravely hurt and we have to adapt to the era we live in,” he added.
“I think that the Champions League reform isn’t the best it can be, and what’s more we cannot wait until 2024”
European Super League news
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