Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is saying out loud what many football fans around the world may be thinking. He has openly criticised the current economic situation that has allowed European football clubs to be state-owned.

The Real Madrid chief has been credited for helping Real Madrid become one of the most financially stable clubs despite going through the blows dealt by the novel coronavirus pandemic like everyone else. However, he pointed out that nowadays, even if a club has a healthy revenue stream, it has become almost impossible to compete with clubs that have state-backing.

To highlight the problem, Perez spoke about this summer's 200 million euro offer that Los Blancos made to PSG for the transfer of Kylian Mbappe. Even with the player's contract expiring at the end of the season, the French giants refused to accept the offer on the table. Backed by Qatar, PSG is able to risk losing the 200 million payday and letting the player leave on a free transfer next summer. Not only that, they can afford to slap Mbappe with a much bigger offer just to convince him to stay.

The situation is not restricted to PSG either, with Premier League clubs like Manchester City and now Newcastle United also backed by Middle Eastern oil-rich states.

"We have to fulfil our contracts and we try to bring in good players and the best players," Florentino Perez told Marca. "But you have to be able to afford them. Now you offer 200 million [euros] and they don't sell. When they finish their contracts it's better, but right now there are a lot of state-backed clubs and they don't want to sell you players," he added.

Perez then spoke about how he has been working hard to strive for the club's financial health, but these other clubs are injecting funds from outside, perhaps unfairly. "I strive for [financial] management [of the club] to be the main thing, not the money you get from elsewhere. The time will come when the top 30 clubs in Europe will be owned by countries. That is not the principle of the European Union. I came here to fight and I have been fighting since I arrived."

Perez then went on to defend his European Super Cup project, which has been slammed by UEFA. He said that the goal was always to help clubs earn based on merit. He vowed to continue fighting for the cause, comparing the project to the beginnings of the Champions League. "In 1955, the European Cup was created and it was the same situation as now. Football has to be played based on the merits and resources that you have," he said.

Florentino Perez
Real Madrid have won 13 European Cups, 12 more than the other Champions League semi-finalists combined AFP / JAVIER SORIANO