Real Madrid: European Super League, project is 'on standby'

Real Madrid's president insists the European super league is still on standby.. The team is yet to officially pull out of the competition and Florentino Perez says it's 'completely wrong' to believe the project is over. Al Jazeera’s Andy Richardson

Video Transcript

ANDY RICHARDSON: This was Real Madrid's first game since becoming a founder member of the European Super League. Since that announcement on Sunday, the other teams involved have seemingly been in a race to apologize and pull out, but not Real. Their club president insists his team are still on standby to play in it, appearing on Spanish radio to say, he was surprised by the reaction it had received.


INTERPRETER: I've never seen such aggression by the president of UEFA and from some presidents within the Spanish leagues. It seemed like it was orchestrated. We were all surprised by it. I've never seen this in my life. Never. There were threats, insults, as if we had killed someone, as if we had killed football.

ANDY RICHARDSON: Manchester City's manager, Pep Guardiola, was one of the first to speak out against the league, stating, it's not a sport if teams are guaranteed to play in it each season. This 2-1 win for City against Aston Villa moved them a step closer to winning the English title. They've already qualified for next season's European Champions League. The competition the Super League was intended to replace.

PEP GUARDIOLA: I know the guys [INAUDIBLE] working with-- they don't need to apologize. I understand [INAUDIBLE] apologize, but I know them. The intention for my chairman, my CO, my older people, I know really who they are, and this is the most important. But I understand the statement, and it's a chapter is over.

ANDY RICHARDSON: The negative reaction from fans played a key role in convincing team owners into a rethink. In England, where six clubs initially joined the league, a government-led review of football will look at the way supporters are treated.

JOE BLOTT: Football belongs to football fans. Always has done and always will do. It doesn't belong to the custodians of our football clubs. You think they do own the football, but they don't. It belongs to the football fans. And the driving force behind this, from the oligarchs, to the venture capitalists, to the oil billionaires, is just about them being even more greedy.

ANDY RICHARDSON: Liverpool's players, led by Captain Jordan Henderson, were also quick to condemn the plan and force their owners' hands. It all means for now, the big names and the big teams will be staying where they are.


Andy Richardson, Al Jazeera.