Atletico Madrid’s Gil slams FIFA biennial plans as doing ‘great damage’

By Samindra Kunti

September 23 – Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin has slammed global governing body FIFA’s plans for a biennial World Cup, with the current row in the game causing “irreversible damage” in his view. 

Gil’s takedown of FIFA’s plans was loaded with strong language as he argued that the idea had no economic merit for the clubs. “This dispute between FIFA and the leagues is doing great damage, perhaps irreversible, to those of us in the middle,” said Gil, speaking at the World Football Summit.

“Creating new competitions to play more games to generate more money is the intention. Clubs invest in players and their salaries, we take great risks, and for what?” he continued.

“Those of us caught in the middle suffer. It’s like a family when mum and dad fight. In that situation, the only solution could be emancipation. It will happen in the end. It might not be the Super League, but it’s unsustainable.”

“It makes no sense to create more competitions to have more matches and generate more revenue when we are already living on the edge. We pay the wages of the players, and for what? And then not being able to use them when they get injured.”

His club were one of 12 who conjured up plans for a breakaway European Super League, but they were forced to abandon the idea after widespread fan protests. Gil expressed some regret over how the idea was launched, but emphasised that with the divide over the game’s future it won’t take long before Super League plans will be revived.

“We took the decision in 48 hours, but then in another 48 hours we came to understand what it meant for football’s traditions, and then we saw the rejection of our fanbase, It’s something cultural, we saw it in England too.”

He added: “The idea hadn’t yet been properly developed. But if the governing bodies carry on in the same way, it won’t be long for another, better thought-out idea to come along to change the current system. If they carry on like before, if we have to choose between mum and dad, we’ll end up going home.”

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