39 La Liga clubs unite to condemn Superleague
Madrid, Apr 22 (Xinhua) Thirty nine clubs in the Spanish Football League (La Liga) on Thursday issued a statement to condemn the plans for a European Superleague, involving Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Although the plans for a Superleague appear to be dead in the water with all of the original 12 clubs involved, apart from Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, pulling out in the face of widespread opposition, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez insisted the plans remained alive in an interview on Spanish radio station, Cadena Ser on Wednesday night.
Thursday saw Barcelona president Joan Laporta, make his first declarations since Sunday’s announcement of the competition. Laporta said it was “a necessity,” but said the “club members would have the last word.”
Meanwhile the 39 clubs from La Liga and the Liga SmartBank (second division) not involved in the scheme, including Valencia, Villarreal, Sevilla, Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Betis, met at the La Liga offices in Madrid to discuss the situation and after the meeting, they published a joint statement against the Superleague.
“The clubs present at the meeting unanimously and strongly rejected the plans for this competition. All clubs firmly believe in sporting merit as the sole criteria to qualify to international club competitions through domestic leagues.”
“Today football fans across Europe can dream that their club, no matter the size, may excel, climb to the top and compete at the pinnacle of European football. This European tradition of football for all is paramount and should not be threatened or changed,” reads the communique, which adds that “global resistance over the past few days has proven that a closed, elitist league is unviable and unwanted. The reaction proves just how much the open ecosystem and football community means to people,” it continues.
La Liga president Javier Tebas also spoke to the press to add his voice of criticism against Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barca.
“They can’t tell us they have come to save football. They can’t say they want to save us from ruin, it’s not true and neither can they say they won’t harm national competitions, because it will harm them in both economic and sporting terms.”
“If they had such a good idea, why did they keep it hidden,” said Tebas.