Author: John Mawuli Atidigah
Real president and Super League leader Florentino Pérez is playing on Spanish TV as the savior of football – and talks about the fact that 90 minutes could be too long for a game in the future.
The founders of the controversial Super League are apparently also considering a departure from the 90-minute duration of a football game. “The young people say: The games are too long for them. So we have to change something if we want football to live on,” said Florentino Pérez, President of Real Madrid, founder and operator of the Super League, on Tuesday night in the talk show “Chiringuito” on the Spanish TV channel Mega.
Pérez pointed out that the attention of the new generations of playstations and tablets was shaped. “If the young people say a game is too long and not bearable (in full length) it is either because the game (in question) does not generate enough interest – or it has to be cut,” said Pérez. You have to think about “why 16 to 24-year-olds are no longer interested in football”.
The destruction of a cultural asset
The plans for the super league are to be equated with a “crime against football” and threaten a structure that has grown over generations. The audience only discusses the level of depravity the store has reached.
Comment from Philipp Selldorf
According to the game rule number 7 of the world association Fifa, “a game consists of two halves of 45 minutes each” – always provided that “nothing else has been agreed between the two teams and the referee”. (The bon mot of the former English soccer professional Gary Lineker, according to which the Germans always win in the end, is an addition that was born at the 1990 World Cup and was not included in the Fifa standard framework / editor’s note). Pérez mocked that the soccer rules came “from the year Real Madrid was founded”, that is, from 1902. In truth, they even date from the 19th century. “Sometimes we don’t understand our children and grandchildren,” said Pérez. “There are games I can’t stand, I’ll be honest with you,” he added.
The Super League should start “immediately” if possible, says Pérez
Pérez is the leader of the Super League project, which twelve top clubs from Spain, England and Italy have joined so far. German clubs were invited in addition to Paris Saint-Germain, explained Pérez, without giving any further details. The founding members have been promised 3.5 billion euros. So far, no starting year has been declared. The wish is to reach an agreement with the European football union Uefa “and to start immediately,” said Pérez. But it does not look like such an agreement.
The Uefa, the national associations and the most important leagues in Europe have decidedly against the Super League plans. “Maybe we have to wait another year,” said Pérez. The Champions League reform decided by Uefa is not enough for Pérez: “The new Champions League with 36 instead of 32 clubs should start in 2024,” he said, “but in 2024 all these clubs will be dead.” Madrid and FC Barcelona are grappling with an enormous mountain of debt.
That he chose the program “Chiringuito” to present the Super League is surprising in view of the billions of dollars that are being talked about. But it is not entirely by chance. “Chiringuito” is a common name in Spain for beach bars. The show is a kind of press club in trash talk format that is broadcast around midnight. It is primarily a “debate” show dominated by football journalists sympathetic to Real Madrid (and Pérez).
There Pérez was able to place a few cardinal ideas of his Super League largely without being contradicted. And make yourself the messiah of football. The pandemic tore gigantic holes in the clubs’ coffers, they now have to be filled. “When it is said: That’s the rich, it’s about rich against poor – no,” said the building contractor Pérez, who, according to Forbes, has amassed private assets of more than two billion euros. “I am not the owner of Real Madrid, Real Madrid is a member club. Everything I do is for the good of football. Now we are doing this to save football,” said Pérez. The new money would seep from the Super League clubs to the rest of the football world. “We believe in solidarity, that’s what the president of a club that lives from solidarity and values tells you,” said Pérez.