As the war between UEFA and the Superleague for the future of European football rumbles on in the courts, the battle of words continues too.
On Tuesday, the new management firm, A22, held a meeting with UEFA as they tried to open a dialogue. They were ambushed by a waiting part of various groups though, including fan groups and the European Club Association.
That of course is headed by Paris Saint-Germain CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who has been converted into a public enemy in Madrid. Al-Khelaifi was crucial to keeping Kylian Mbappe in Paris rather than moving to Real Madrid, as well as being a vocal critic of the Superleague, headed by Florentino Perez.
Speaking to Sport, Al-Khelaifi had no problem dripping disdain on the Superleague.
“Unfortunately, as we saw yesterday in our meeting with A22, maybe it will become A23 or A24, a new brand every year. I feel sad for them because yesterday they showed that they don’t understand football and its ecosystem.”
He also responded to a comparison Perez made back in October, saying that under the UEFA system, tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer would barely have played each other.
“For Nadal and Federer, every match was important, whatever ranking they played against. They never asked for a closed league of top players. They defended the tennis family. Please don’t use their big names to justify their failures.”
“At yesterday’s meeting, the voice of the fan groups was heard loud and clear. They spoke from the heart. Self-interest has no place in football. And I totally agree.”
There is something a little inconsistent about Al-Khelaifi speaking about the interests of fans, when the investment in PSG continues to unbalance football to a degree that may eventually cost football fans.
Ultimately, the Superleague still faces an uphill battle to convince the other big teams in Europe to join their project, which caused the English teams in particular plenty of strife.