Napoli president, film producer Aurelio De Laurentiis, spoke to the Daily Mail about the need to reform European football. According to him, the existing system of three European cups (Champions League, Europa League and Conference League) does not justify itself, since tournaments do not bring sufficient income to clubs.
“You need more top-tier players to be competitive. This means that you have to spend more money – and prize money in European competitions does not take this into account. This is why clubs need to talk to each other to come up with a more modern and profitable tournament for everyone involved, ”said De Laurentiis.
The film producer spoke about the need to reduce the number of matches by reducing the size of the top divisions in championships across Europe. “In addition, it is necessary to create a European league with a democratic entry system based on the achievements of the teams in domestic competitions. I have studied the project and am ready to contribute 10 billion euros, but we need readiness and complete independence. “
According to De Laurentiis, football is losing popularity among young people because of rules that are not obvious to everyone, and also because not all matches are spectacular. “Football can stop being a central part of our life. My research shows that people between the ages of eight and 25 have stopped watching football and prefer to play with smartphones – they have completely changed our children, ”said the President of Napoli. The Italian said that now young people prefer virtual reality to going to the stadium and even watching the match on TV.
De Laurentiis, 72, is a film producer and owner of Filmauro. Over a 45-year career, he has directed over 70 films. His uncle, Dino De Laurentiis, was one of the most respected producers in the history of post-war cinema, he collaborated with such directors as Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard and others.
Aurelio De Laurentiis bought Napoli in 2004. Under him, the Neapolitans won three Cups and one Italian Super Cup, and several times finished second in the national championship. The film producer also owns the Bari football club, which plays in Serie C (the third division of the Italian championship).
In April, 12 European clubs announced the creation of a new tournament, which, according to the idea, was supposed to consist of 15 permanent participants and five teams playing in the league on a sporting principle. The founding clubs are Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea, Atletico, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter, Milan and Juventus.
The International Football Federation (FIFA), the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), national federations, representatives of the football community and fans criticized the idea of a new tournament. After some time, most of the clubs refused to participate in the project, the initiative to create the Super League is still supported by Barcelona, Real and Juventus.
As noted in a press release of the Super League, 3.5 billion euros each were to be transferred to the accounts of participating clubs to develop infrastructure and compensate for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the plan, the clubs were to be paid a fixed amount of 264 million euros annually. The main investor in the project was the American financial holding JPMorgan. The Super League was intended to replace the traditional European competition.