MADRID: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has defended the creation of the breakaway Super League as a means “to save football.”

Perez is chairman of the organisation which has infuriated much of the rest of football. His club are one of the 12 European clubs who intend to establish a new midweek competition.

He said the move had been made because young people are “no longer interested in football” because of “a lot of poor quality games”.

Perez added: “Whenever there is change, there are always people who oppose it. We are doing this to save football at this critical moment. If we continue with the Champions League there is less and less interest and then it’s over.”

Plans for a revamped 36-team Champions League, starting in 2024, were  approved by European federation UEFA on Monday.

But Perez was dismissive of the timescale, saying: “The new format which starts in 2024 is absurd. In 2024, we are all dead.”

He added: “In the ’50s, it was a similar situation. UEFA and FIFA resisted the new European Cup, but that competition changed football.”