Perez is the co-founder and chair of the European Super League, which has now been put on hold after most of the initial member clubs withdrew. The ESL had promised its 15 founding clubs a combined total of around 6 billion euros (including participation and prize money), with each club receiving a 200-300 million windfall at the end of each Season.
But while many argued that this step would only strengthen the rich clubs while making the poor even weaker, Florentino Perez refuted those suggestions during a recent interview with El Larguero. The 74-year-old stressed that to make money you need to have the best teams facing each other, much like how a Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer match grabs the most eyeballs in tennis.
"Now the rich lose a lot of money and they will stop being rich," Perez explained. "This is a pyramid; if there is money at the top, the pyramid is going down and there is money for everyone. If there is no money at the top…(there is no money for the bottom). If Nadal plays Federer, everyone watches; if Nadal plays the number 80 in the world, nobody watches."
A match between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is considered to be the greatest spectacle in tennis. Millions tune in every time the two legends face each other on the court, and Florentino Perez believes the ESL would present such legendary battles on a weekly basis.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have faced each other only 40 times over the past 17 years, and many believe that the rarity of the matchup adds to its beauty. But while explaining the rationale behind the ESL, Florentino Perez opined that there is no problem in having a Nadal vs Federer fixture twice a week for an entire season.
Perez also pointed out that football’s biggest attractions are its biggest clubs as well as players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Football is maintained by the biggest clubs - it always has been," Perez added. "Cristiano vs Messi was great, not just for Madrid and Barca, but for Spanish football, and football in general. The money comes from where there is competition, and there are games where there is no competition. You have to do Federer - Nadal matches every Tuesday and Wednesday."
Rafael Nadal does not have a "clear opinion" about the European Super League
During one of his recent press conferences at the ongoing Barcelona Open, Rafael Nadal himself was asked to give his two cents on the European Super League. But the Spaniard revealed he was not well-versed with the details of the league, and as such couldn't comment much on it.
Nadal did suggest, however, that economic reforms are necessary to deal with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Sorry, but I don't have a clear opinion," Rafael Nadal said. "Something has been announced that is not 100 percent clear and I would not like to take false steps when it comes to commenting."
"Sport in general is suffering all over the world with this pandemic, economically, and it is logical that solutions are sought," he added. "If the solution is correct or not, I don't know. Without knowing everything, it is difficult for me to have a clear opinion and that is why I prefer not to comment. When I give my opinion, I try to be informed and in this case, I'm not."