The European Super League was created “to save football”, says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.
Real are one of the 12 European clubs who have signed up to the breakaway league and intend to establish a new midweek competition.
Perez said the move had been made because young people are “no longer interested in football” because of “a lot of poor quality games”.
“Whenever there is change, there are always people who oppose it,” he said.
Alan Shearer says the proposed European Super League is “plain and simply wrong”
The English ‘big six’ of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have agreed to join the new league.
The move has been criticised by football authorities and government ministers in the UK and widely condemned across Europe by Uefa and leagues associations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a meeting with football’s governing bodies on Tuesday to discuss the move, while the 14 Premier League clubs not included in the plans are also scheduled to meet.
Perez said that the top teams were losing money and that big-name matches would help increase their revenue.
“We are doing this to save football at this critical moment,” Perez told Spanish TV show El Chiringuito de Jugones.
“If we continue with the Champions League there is less and less interest and then it’s over.
“The new format which starts in 2024 is absurd. In 2024, we are all dead.”
Plans for a revamped 36-team Champions League, starting in 2024, were confirmed by Uefa on Monday.
He added: “In the ’50s, it was a similar situation. Uefa and Fifa went against the new European Cup, but that competition changed football.”
AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the ESL would be “a new, exciting chapter for the game” and that it will “provide value and support” across European football.
“We’re confident that this new competition will capture the imagination of billions of soccer fans all over the world,” he said.
Gazidis also said the club wants to continue to play in Serie A, which he said “will remain the most important weekend competition in Italy”.
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo came out in support of the ESL and the club’s owner Andrea Agnelli, who quit as European Club Association (ECA) chairman after signing the Turin club up to the new competition.
“He explained this project to us, he gave us great confidence, but the most important thing he told us is that we have to continue with our work,” Pirlo said.