PSG President Talks Down on European Super League Potential

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By Martin Graham | 31st Mar 2022

Paris St-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has talked down on the potential of the purported European Super League ever coming to life.

Al-Khelaifi, who assumed the office of the chairman of the European Clubs Association in the wake of the failure of the first moves to create the Super League back in 2020, said the Super League was a threat, in an interview with BBC Sport.

Al-Khelaifi was one of the first to dissociate his club from the proposed breakaway league which planned to bring together all of Europe’s biggest clubs to form an elite league which would be strictly segregated from all other clubs.

The move was quickly shut down by the European football governing body UEFA, backed by the world football governing body FIFA. However, the founding clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – took the case to court and are expecting a ruling on it by 2023.

The PSG president told BBC Sport that as far as the dream of keeping it going still remains, European football is under threat.

“With the ESL or non ESL – I hate to say Super League – you are talking about three clubs. They know there is no chance,” he said to BBC.

“People are dying in Ukraine and have nowhere to sleep – and we are fighting about Super League?

“The problem with ESL clubs is that they don’t have stability. They don’t have a long-term financial vision. They keep talking about their legal contract [with ESL].

“What they forget is football is a social contract, it’s not a legal contract – they’re waving around a piece of paper.

“Florentino Perez spoke to me at the Champions League game and said ‘we have to get a point where we can speak to you’. I was really tough with him.

“I said I was happy to talk but if he was going to do stuff behind my back, I am not interested.”

Al-Khelaifi was also asked about his opinions on fans wanting to witness the kind of big matches which the European Super League, if successful, would have week in, week out.

“I want to play those matches – the big matches, of course I do. I know what the audience wants. But we cannot say ‘you are a small club, you are out’. It has to be an open system, under the governing body, where there is respect for everybody,” he said in response.

“I could have taken the [ESL] cheque for €400m. They invited me. Then when I said no, they said they didn’t invite me – that sums them up.

“If I just thought about myself I could have done it. Especially during Covid. But what about the eco-system and the fans and the values you represent?”

Al-Khelaifi is currently in the toughest phase of his tenure as PSG chairman as the club is set to lose a number of players while being at their most unattractive to many others.

He is also under investigation for his outburst after PSG were eliminated by Madrid in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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