Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has backed a major reform of the European football calendar, with “new formulas” needed to make football “more competitive and exciting”.
The obvious hint of a European Super League touted as a replacement for the Champions League is the latest sign that the league’s biggest clubs are in favor of such a project.
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In October, the outgoing Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu announced that the club had tentatively agreed to attend.
“The pandemic has changed everything. It has made us all more vulnerable and the world of football too,” Perez said at the annual meeting of Real Madrid club members.
“Football needs new formulas to become stronger, more competitive and more exciting. As always, Real Madrid needs to stay at the forefront of the sport. Our club has participated in all the innovations it needs over the years.
“The model needs a boost. Football has to face these new times.
“Everyone supports the reform of the current competition panorama. The football fans themselves find the calendar saturated. The reform of football can hardly wait, and we have to deal with it as soon as possible.”
The gathering, held remotely for the first time, saw Real Madrid Socios [members] Approval of the club’s annual financial statements for the 2019-20 season with an income reduction of EUR 106 million (13%) due to the impact of the coronavirus, mainly caused by the closure of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
The club expects its income to be € 300 million lower in 2020-21 than if it sustained pre-pandemic growth.
Although many key details are still vague, clubs like Real Madrid are expected to see their TV rights deals and other related revenues increase significantly as part of the Super League project.
“The major European clubs have millions of fans all over the world,” added Perez. “We have a responsibility to fight for this change … Our duty is to adapt to this reality so that football remains the most sought-after content. So we need to improve competitiveness and quality.”
La Liga president Javier Tebas, a vocal critic of the proposed Super League and defender of the status quo, responded to Perez’s comments too Twitter on Sunday eveningand said: “I think the Real Madrid president is very confused about the Super League. He should be better informed.”