Thursday, June 1, 2023

Florentino probed the new owner of Chelsea about the Super League before Juan Carlos I

Florentino Pérez is an accomplished strategist. And last Tuesday he had a very relevant meeting scheduled on his agenda. And it was not the one he had with the “good friend of his” the king emeritus, Juan Carlos I. That he was also. The president of Real Madrid came up against a character who could be decisive for unblock the refusal of English football to the Super League: Billionaire Todd Boehly.

The American executive already knows what it is like to be part of a closed professional league, since he is co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers of MLS baseball and the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. So Florentino’s original idea of ​​the Super League is not alien to him.

Lifeguard to Chelsea

In addition, Boehly lives a particularly difficult situation. It has not been a year since the purchase of Chelsea for 5,000 million dollars from the Russian magnate Roman Abramovich and more than 600 million euros has already been spent on transfers. Investment that he, far from having given returns, has at Chelsea eliminated from all competitions except the Premierin which he has no options to get into Europe. This complicates the management, by losing the Champions League income, and by the criticism received from club legends such as Didier Drogba, who has denounced “the lack of class in the club that existed in our time. I do not recognize Chelsea”.

The Londoners were one of the six ‘founder’ English clubs of the Super League, but then backed down under pressure from fans and UEFA. Months later the clubs of the Premier signed a decalogue in which it is prohibited “to participate in the creation of new competition formats outside the rules of the Premier“.

An ally for Real Madrid

However, from the Super League environment it is argued that this statute depends on the ruling on UEFA’s monopoly in the Champions League. If it is contrary to the institution of European football, the English clubs would return to sit at the table with the Super League. Given this situation, the match between Chelsea and Madrid in London was a perfect opportunity to probe Boehly (and it did) and find out his vision of the project and his plans for the future, that go through finding alternative ways of entry.

They also had in their favor an element of media distraction that made the meeting between the leaders go unnoticed: the presence at Stamford Bridge of the king emeritus, Juan Carlos I. His visit was carried out with discretion from the outset by the clubs and Florentino. Until at a certain point the news leaked, arousing the attention of the media. The monarch’s presence appropriately diverted the focus, and all the media focused on the arrival of the Bourbon at the ancient stadium in the Fulham neighborhood.

Conversation between Florentino and Boehly

As you may have learned THE SPANISH NEWSPAPERfrom the Prensa Ibérica group, During the conversation between Boehly and Florentino, the current situation of the Super League was discussed without going into much depth. The president of Madrid sees the owner of Chelsea as a possible ally of the project, especially now that the other two promoters, Laporta’s Barcelona and Agnelli’s Juventus, are targeted by the Negreira case, which can leave them out of Europe, and by the capital gains case that has cost the Turin a sanction.

In fact, Ceferin focused on these scandals and even pointed to Madrid: “One is in criminal proceedings for fixing his account balance, and the other for transferring money to one of the leaders in the arbitration organization. And we will see if the third has something”.

The owner of Chelsea needs solutions and will start by reducing the salaries of the players by 30%, since with those he has signed under his ownership he has signed variable salaries up to that percentage linked to Champions League qualification. The club is out of the Champions League this season and we’ll see if there are any more.

And in England journalists like Samuel Martin of The Times they see the Super League as a real option: “This season is a disaster for a Chelsea that harbored pretensions to play in the Super League. He just needs to find a way to unlock it for Boehly’s generosity to count.”. Florentino has cast the hook and it seems that he has attracted the attention of a big fish.


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