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Real Madrid threaten to form European Superleague

Real Madrid officials are angry with LaLiga for postponing their meeting with Celta. In Galicia, there is resentment at the way the capital side handled the matter.
Russia - Spain

El noroeste de España se ha visto afectado estos días por las inclemencias meteorológicas y Balaídos fue castigado por el viento y la lluvia.

Osasuna-Real Madrid live


The harsh weather is now easing off in Vigo, but the storms continue to rage in Madrid - or to be more precise, in the Bernabéu offices. Florentino Pérez's frustration for the bungled attempts to find a way of playing this weekend's league meeting with Celta has provoked a reaction: the threat of breaking away to form a European Superleague involving the continent's top sides. The capital side are still smarting because they feel all routes were not explored to ensure yesterday's match in Vigo went ahead.

At Real Madrid, no one can understand how the damage to the stadium's roof could not be repaired 36 hours ahead of the match - or that authorities would not accept allowing the game to go ahead with that part of the stadium closed off. They were further disgruntled that nobody supported the idea of staging the game at another ground close to Vigo. They argued that elsewhere in Europe, an alternative venue would have been found... All of that resulted with the proposal of a Superleague rearing its head once again.

The idea of a Superleague isn't new. The embryonic proposal which Madrid seem to like the most (several schemes for a Superleague have been put forward) has been underway since 2012. It started as the World Football Challenge and know is known as the International Champions Cup. This summer tournament brings together Europe's top sides for matches in the United States, China and more recently, Australia.

It is hosted by Relevent Sport, a North American company which has no qualms about presenting itself as an alternative option to UEFA and which now unites 95% of Europe's major clubs (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan, Manchester City, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, PSG, Atlético, Juventus, Liverpool...). All of those clubs are open to the possibility of creating their own competition and sharing out the profits among themselves to the detriment of UEFA.

Real Madrid will not lack support if they decide to begin this battle. Bayern General Director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Juventus president Andrea Agnelli have both publically defended the idea of creating a European Superleague. To emphasize their point, they drew comparisons with last year's Super Bowl: “The Champions League generates 1,500 million euros a year and the Super Bowl, 7,000 million... But football has over 1,600 million spectators worldwide while the NFL has just 150 million...”.

Vigo, this weekend
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Vigo, this weekendSalvador SasEFE

Surprise in Vigo

While Madrid are still seething and thinking about the Superleague project, in Vigo the situation is being viewed with astonishment. Celta officials are not happy at all with Real Madrid's behaviour, and nor are the fans. Those in the Galician port had hoped for more understanding from Florentino Pérez's club in the delicate situation which the whole of the Galicia region has been subjected to over the past few days. The whole north coast has been relentlessly pummelled by storms and nobody can understand how those in the capital could prioritize a football match over the safety of the public - including their own fans (who incidentally, would have been sat in the affected part of the stadium) not to mention the safety of their own players.

Damage of the roof at Riazor
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Damage of the roof at RiazorJesus Sancho (Sanchofoto)DIARIO AS

Important week

And while reaching finals may be a regular, even an expected occurrence for Real Madrid, the same is not true for the majority of LaLiga sides. This is a massive week for Celta, who have the chance to reach their first Cup final since 2001. Being put under unnecessary pressure to play a game in extreme weather during such a big week for the club hasn't gone down at all well in Galicia.

The best example of why the match could never have taken place this weekend was in A Coruña, just north of Vigo where Deportivo's game against Betis was called off when sections of the roof collapsed. Reparation work on Riazor has been impossible over the past three days and the situation is the same in Balaídos where engineers are waiting for the weather to improve before they can repair the damaged roof.


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