Let it never be said that Florentino Perez goes down without a fight.
The Spaniard has spent the best part of his second tenure at Real Madrid laying the foundations for the European breakaway competition.
Within 48 hours of going public, his dream lay in ruins.
Not that you’d have known it when he fronted up on El Larguero, letting rip at, in particular, the six English sides who pulled out amid fan fury.
Perez insisted he had been in it to “save” football, crying aloud: “There is no other solution than the Super League.”
He reeled off a host of facts that weren’t actually remotely anything like facts, including his declaration on the Premier League’s money-making ability: “It cannot be that in England, the six lose money, and 14 make money.”
He didn’t mention the option of not trying to spend so much money despite Real Madrid’s debt levels heading towards the £1bn mark.
There was also the suggestion that Chelsea fans who vehemently protested outside Stamford Bridge ahead of their withdrawal on Tuesday night weren’t actually Chelsea fans at all.
“There were only 40 Chelsea fans, and I could tell who brought them. Who brought those Chelsea fans to protest? Someone moved them.”
Perez touched upon a financial penalty which the clubs pulling out of the ESL now face paying.
That was confirmed by Arsenal chief Josh Kroenke on Thursday night at a fans forum; he insisted the club’s parent company, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, would be paying the figure when challenged.
After his martyrdom, Perez is now working extensively on saving face and is using sections of the Madrid-based media to do just that.
Friday’s offering came via Vozpopuli, a Madrid digital offering, who claim that “none of the member clubs of the European Super League, headed by the president of Real Madrid, has really abandoned the project, despite the official statements issued.”
Because they’re all on the hook for £260million. Each.
They claim that’s the figure in the contracts signed by each founding member and that the penalty was set so high because of the foresight of Perez and Key Capital Partners – his trusted, Madrid-based financial advisors.
However, what Perez obviously wasn’t counting on was JP Morgan – the investment bank footing the bill to get the Super League up and running – issuing their own public apology on Friday morning.
“We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future,” they declared. “We will learn from this.”
Of course, their apology is forthcoming now because they’ve realised how bad they misjudged the public feeling, rather than seeing because their sustainability rating had been downgraded.
But with their acknowledgment and decision to withdraw, Perez’s Super League is very much down and out.
Don’t expect him to tell you that though.
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