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Perez: Premier League club’s Super League nerves ‘contagious’ to other 5

Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards rip the proposed European Super League that would unite the Premier League's Big Six in a breakaway closed competition.

Two of the bigger forces behind the European Super League have differing takes on the status of the project after most of the teams pulled out of the short-lived collection of world powers.

The Super League had said Tuesday that it would “reshape the project,” which is in line with Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli’s comments a day later that the project is “stalled and cannot proceed,” while Real Madrid boss Florentino Perez says it is simply on standby and claims that two of the reported teams to quit the ESL have not.

Perez, who said earlier that the project was meant to save football, cannot even agree about which teams have exited the Super League.

All six Premier League sides -- Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, and Liverpool -- announced their departures at different times Tuesday, while Inter Milan also exited. AC Milan at first blush seems to have left, but a closer reading doesn’t totally defy Perez’s claim that both Milanese sides are still interested in the idea.

Juventus has announced their commitment to pursuing ideas like the Super League, but Agnelli admitted that he doesn’t “think that project is now still up and running.”

Perez, however, seems much closer to doubling down than admitting significant failure, only going as far as to call the Super League “on standby” and saying Inter and AC Milan remain in the project with Barcelona and Real Madrid. He claims that one Premier League club scared off the other five, using the word “contagious” in an excellent show of awareness during COVID-19.

He also said, “Maybe we didn’t explain it properly.” And if the project is good at all, then no, no they dd not.

If anything like the Super League is to come into being, it’s probably going to need a new point person and a public relations firm.

For one thing, the ESL was kept so secret that people like AC Milan’s Paolo Maldini and Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel found about it at the same time as the rest of the world.

Chelsea, in its apology late Tuesday, mentioned having “joined the group late last week” which raises questions about how leadership pushed this along.

So as Perez prepares a new Super League recipe, citing the “binding contracts,” is football still in the balance? Maybe, but it’s difficult to believe that there’s a plan that will be served to the public with anything other than the wariest of eyes.

Follow @NicholasMendola