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Real Madrid president Football losing battle with US sports

เวลาปล่อย:2022/11/24 คลิก:

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Real Madrid president: Football losing battle with U.S. sports, calls for ESL revival

Florentino Perez wants European football competitions to change.

ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

Florentino Perez said that football is sick and losing the global entertainment battle with U.S. sports, and he backed the dormant European Super League (ESL) project as the way to retain its position as the worlds most popular sport.

TheReal Madridpresident -- who was speaking at the clubs annual general meeting on Sunday -- has been one of the breakaway competitions most high-profile backers since its attempted launch in April 2021.

-Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)

The ESL and footballs governing bodies are awaiting a ruling from the European Court of Justice, due in December, on whether UEFAs attempts to block the Super League breached European competition laws.

To fix a problem, you have to first recognise that you have a problem, Perez said. Our sport is sick. Its losing its leadership as a global sport ... We mustnt be confused by the impact of Real Madrids European Cup run [in the Champions League last season] when we were involved in seven games of the highest intensity and interest.

That was the result of the draw, and of the quality and greatness of our team. It was a spectacle that helped bring excitement back to the viewers. Thats why we believe European competitions must change, to offer fans top-level games year-round between the strongest teams, with the best players competing.

Perez compared the number of times that major European clubs face each other to the number of top-level meetings in other sports.

In tennis, [Rafa] Nadal and [Roger] Federer have played 40 times in 15 years. Nadal and [Novak] Djokovic have played 59 matches in 16 years, he said. In football weve only playedLiverpoolnine times in 67 years. Weve playedChelseafour times in the history of the European Cup. What sense does it make to deprive fans of all these games?

Perez highlighted a recentForbes rankingthat suggested football clubs are falling behind United States teams.

We were top in all sports, and now weve fallen to 13th, he said. Weve been overtaken by 12 clubs from American sports. They must be doing something very well in the United States and very badly in Europe ... Football is losing the global entertainment battle against other sports and other platforms.

Real Madrid,BarcelonaandJuventusare the remaining three of the ESLs 12 founding clubs that have maintained their public support for the project, after the withdrawal of its six Premier League members --Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool,Manchester City,Manchester Unitedand Tottenham -- sparked its collapse in April 2021.

We need a professional, modern, transparent management, not based on old structures designed in the last century, Perez said. Recently the chairman of the European Clubs Association [Paris Saint-Germainpresident Nasser Al-Khelaifi] said -- talking about the Super League -- that Real Madrid are afraid of the competition. Maybe the president of the ECA has to be reminded who Real Madrid are. Competition is in our DNA.

The annual general meeting saw members approveReal Madrids accounts for the 2021-22 season, which showed a narrow €13 million profit, and confirm the appointment of club legend Amancio Amaro as its honorary president following the death of Paco Gento.

Members also voted in favour of a plan to revive the clubs third team, known as Real Madrid C -- which was dissolved in 2015 -- by absorbing Madrids Club RSC Internacional FC.

The move is intended to provide a smoother transition between the clubs academy teams up to under-19 level and the reserve team, Castilla.

Meanwhile, in an extraordinary general meeting held after the AGM, members voted almost unanimously -- with 1500 votes in favour and 10 against -- to tighten the criteria for candidates to the clubs presidency and board, requiring them to be able to provide a guarantee for 15% of the clubs annual budget.