European Super League: Clubs ‘cannot leave’, says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez
Florentino Perez says the ESL was created “to save football”

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says the 12 clubs that agreed to join a new European Super League have “binding contracts” and “cannot leave”.

Nine of the 12 teams, including all six Premier League clubs, withdrew from the proposed tournament on Tuesday after the plan sparked a furious backlash.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have not yet abandoned the project.

“I don’t need to explain what a binding contract is, but effectively the clubs cannot leave,” Perez told newspaper ASexternal-link.

“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.”

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The Real president added it was “not true” American investment bank JP Morgan – who had provided a 3.5bn euro (£2.8bn) grant to the founding members – had abandoned the ESL.

“They have taken some time for reflection, just like the 12 clubs. If we need to make changes we will but the Super League is the best project we’ve thought of,” Perez said.

“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.”

Perez said on Thursday – in the aftermath of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham’s withdrawing – that the ESL was still on “standby”.

La Liga club Atletico Madrid and Italian sides AC Milan and Inter Milan have also formally pulled out, while Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli admitted the project could no longer proceed.

The 12-team Super League was announced on Sunday to widespread condemnation and has since prompted large protests outside grounds in England.

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