Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has insisted the 12 founding clubs of the European Super League have “binding contracts” and “cannot leave.”
On Tuesday, nine of the 12 clubs – including all six Premier League clubs – pulled out of the planned competition after the bid sparked outrage among football fans and figures.
That leaves only Real, Barcelona, and Juventus as committed to the project – but Perez is insisting the plan is still moving forward.
“I don’t need to explain what a binding contract is, but effectively the clubs cannot leave,”Perez told Spanish outlet 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 74-year-old added that it was “not true” that US investment bank JP Morgan – who had provided a €3.5 billion (£2.8 billion) grant to the founding members –had abandoned the Super League.
“They have taken some time for reflection, just like the 12 clubs,” said Perez. “If we need to make changes we will but the Super League is the best project we’ve thought of.
“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.”
Manchester City and Chelsea were the first two clubs to announce they were backing out of the controversial project, which was first announced late last Sunday and met with widespread condemnation.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham quickly followed suit. Two of the Italian sides, AC Milan and Inter Milan, plus Spanish club Atletico Madrid, also withdrew.
Perez and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli are widely seen as two of theleaders behind the Super League project.
The Real Madrid chairman also gave a cold response to theChampions League reform announced by UEFA, which will see the competition expanded to 36 teams from 2024.
“The Super League is the best possible project to help football come out of the crisis,” he said. Football is gravely hurt, and we have to adapt to the era we live in.”
“I think that the Champions League reform isn’t the best it can be, and what’s more we cannot wait until 2024.”
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