Football has become business: Barcelona coach Valverde


Jeddah [Saudi Arabia], Jan 9 (ANI): Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde criticised the new Supercopa format and said that "football has become a business and as a business it looks for income". "The bottom line is football has become a business and as a business it looks for income. That's the reason we are all here," quoted Valverde as saying ahead of Barca's semi-final against Atletico. "It's a completely different format to what we're used to. It was always the first title and the opener of the season and to me, that seemed fine," he added. The Supercopa was traditionally a two-legged affair played between the winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey at the beginning of the season, but following last term's one-off meeting between Barca and Sevilla in Tangier, Morocco, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) went ahead with a full revamp. Instead of just two teams being involved, the Supercopa has been expanded to also include the runners-up from La Liga and the Copa - meaning Barca and Valencia are joined by Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. It is also set to be hosted in Saudi Arabia for the next three editions. "It's been changed and let's see, it will be judged once it has happened. It's interesting, with four good teams, but from a sporting point of view, I'm not sure," Valverde said. "We must bear in mind that the football we are involved in is an industry, sources of income are sought and in the same way that there are special connotations in this country, there are also in Morocco, where we played last year," he added. Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid in the semifinal of the Supercopa at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah on January 10. (ANI)