Woonsocket Call

Real Madrid’s Perez: Super League on ‘standby’


MADRID — The Super League is far from dead and its clubs have not given up on the idea of the breakaway competitio­n despite having to shelve the project just a few days after it was announced, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez said on Thursday.

Pérez, who would have been the new league’s founding chairman, said the clubs behind the Super League will continue working on a way to make the competitio­n work, even if changes have to be made to its format.

He said the Super League is on “standby” and the group is open to discussing ideas with European soccer’s governing body and other entities to help the game amid the coronaviru­s pandemic. Pérez said he was certain that a “very similar” competitio­n would soon be created.

“We are going to keep working,” Pérez told Spanish radio network SER in an interview after midnight local time. “We are looking for ways of getting this done. It would be a shame not to get it done.”

The Super League was announced on Sunday but essentiall­y folded after the English clubs involved in the project pulled out Tuesday amid escalating backlash from their supporters and warnings from the British government that legislatio­n could be introduced to thwart them.

On Wednesday, Atlético Madrid and the three Italian clubs in the project — Juventus, AC Milan and Inter

Milan — also opted out. That left Real Madrid and Barcelona as the only clubs still officially in the new league.

Pérez said no one was really leaving, though.

“They haven’t left,” the Madrid president said. “We are all still together, thinking of ways of making this happen.”

Pérez admitted that they should have explained the project better, and said he was “sad and disappoint­ed” with the “avalanche of aggressive” and “orchestrat­ed” criticism that surfaced everywhere.

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