Real Madrid president Florentino Perez strongly criticized UEFA’s upcoming Champions League format changes, reiterating his support for the European Super League. The announcement of this continental competition in 2021 faced immediate global backlash when 12 founding clubs declared their participation, with only Madrid and Barcelona remaining as the last standing participants.
In June of this year, Juventus confirmed their decision to withdraw from the Super League plan. The European Court of Justice is set to deliver its final ruling on the league’s validity on December 21, determining whether UEFA and FIFA lawfully blocked its creation and imposed sanctions on involved clubs.
During Madrid’s annual general meeting, Perez emphasized the urgency of the new competition for the revitalization of European football. He stated, “The situation is very serious; we must react now, or football will not survive. The issue is that certain administrators act without considering the fans. European football does not belong to the president of UEFA or the president of La Liga.”
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Perez asserted the increasing necessity of the Super League, emphasizing the need for clubs to control their destiny in providing the best football. He called for stricter adherence to Financial Fair Play rules and expressed concern over clubs consistently losing money despite their owners’ financial resources. Perez criticized the new UEFA format, labeling it an “unusual and absurd project” that he believes will further distance fans, especially the younger ones, from the sport.
Starting from the 2024/25 season, the Champions League will feature 36 teams in a unified table. The top eight teams automatically advance to the last 16, while teams ranked ninth to 24th enter a play-off to secure spots in that stage of the competition.
Florentino Perez has previously emphasized the importance of aligning football with the preferences of younger fans. He has pledged the creation of a more affordable product, stating that the European Super League will provide such an option.
Perez stated, “We are obligated to deliver the best possible entertainment to the fans. Our aim is also to reduce the cost of accessing televised football. It’s illogical for fans to have to spend 10% of their minimum wage to watch football. The Super League was designed to address these issues. I maintain my confidence in the justice of the European Union because UEFA does not possess the right to monopolize football in the Europe of freedoms.”