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Javier Tebas hits back at Florentino Pérez over European Super League plans

Afe Awards Ceremony In Madrid Photo By Irina R. Hipolito/Europa Press via Getty Images

The president of LaLiga, Javier Tebas, during his participation in the Web Summit in Lisbon, has responded to the comments made by Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Pérez, at Real Madrid’s General Annual Meeting. Perez, in his speech, gave scathing criticism of Tebas while also still pushing for the Super League to go ahead and save football.

Tebas, who was interviewed by the Spanish news agency EFE, said that Pérez’s speech at the club’s General Annual Meeting on Saturday was “full of lies and contradictions” and that he was trying to “manipulate” the public opinion.

“He said that the pandemic has changed everything and that we need a new model of competition, but he has been pushing for this project for years, even before the pandemic. He said that the Super League would benefit all the clubs, but he only cares about his own interests. He said that the Super League would be open and meritocratic, but he wants to create a closed and elitist league,” Tebas said.

Tebas revealed that the last time he spoke to Florentino Perez was over two years ago, and that sitting against with him now is “impossible”.

“The last time I sat down with Florentino was two or two and a half years ago, and with one of their executives a little earlier,” Tebas said. “But it’s impossible... It’s like I go to your house and say ‘hey, I want these two rooms to be mine, we can sit down and negotiate or not.

Tebas also accused Pérez of being “disloyal” to UEFA and FIFA, the governing bodies of European and world football, and of “threatening” the stability and sustainability of the football industry.

“He wants to break the system that has made football the most popular sport in the world. He wants to destroy the domestic leagues, the Champions League, the World Cup, and the European Championship. He wants to create a monopoly that would kill the competitiveness and the emotion of the game,” Tebas said.

Tebas defended the current model of football, based on solidarity, diversity, and social responsibility, and said that LaLiga was working to improve it and to adapt it to the new challenges and opportunities.

“We have a strong and attractive league, with the best clubs and players in the world. We have a loyal and passionate fan base, with millions of followers around the world. We have a responsible and transparent management, with a strict economic control and a fair distribution of revenues. We have a commitment to society, with initiatives to support the development of football at all levels and to promote the values of sport,” Tebas said.

Tebas also expressed his confidence in the support of the majority of the clubs, the players, the fans, and the authorities to oppose the Super League project, and said that he was ready to take legal action if necessary.

“We have the law and the justice on our side. We will not allow a few clubs to put at risk the future of football. We will defend our rights and our interests with all the means at our disposal. We will not let them steal our dreams,” Tebas concluded.

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