Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has reaffirmed his club’s commitment to a European Super League (ESL) and says football does not recognise that the game in its present form is “sick”.
Real were one of 12 European clubs to sign up to the ESL in April 2021 but it collapsed after a fan backlash.
Real, Barcelona and Juventus have yet to formally abandon the project.
“To solve a problem, you need to start by recognising you have a problem,” said Perez.
“And our beloved sport is sick.”
The 12-team Super League, including Premier League sides Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, was greeted with widespread condemnation from supporters and sparked protests outside grounds in England.
But speaking at Real Madrid’s general assembly, Perez said future generations of fans were focusing on different types of entertainment and made a comparison with tennis when he highlighted what he sees as football’s inadequacies.
“Nadal and Federer played each other 40 times in 15 years. So far, Nadal and Djokovic have faced each other 59 times in 16 years. Is this boring? These historic clashes have grown tennis as a whole,” he said.
“In football the figures are staggering. It turns out we have played Liverpool, a historic team with six European Cups, only nine times in 67 years. And only three times in Madrid. We have only played Chelsea four times in the history of the European Cup.”
Perez made reference to an ongoing case at the European Court of Justice, which is due to make an interim ruling in December about whether European governing body Uefa should be allowed to have a monopoly over organising club competitions.
Perez also rejected the Super League proposals would have meant the end of domestic leagues.
“The Super League format will never be an obstacle stopping a constructive and free dialogue to address the very serious problems in European football. Problems that we must urgently solve,” he said.