Perez's financial stance questioned
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez always understates the size of the club's debts, with Mesut Ozil sold in the summer to cover the problem, the head of a disgruntled group of Blancos socios has claimed.
Carlos Mendoza, the president of the 'Asociacion por los Valores del Madridismo', was interrupted by Perez when he tried to raise his concerns at September's club 'asamblea'.
In a cover interview in Tuesday's AS, he maintained that the figures presented at the meeting were false and that the club's financial situation is more perilous than the board admits.
"We have studied the accounts and the budget and we have detected things which are not explained by the president – things which worry us for the future," Mendoza said. " The club's debt is 541 million euros, including that owed in the short term and long term.
"Florentino only recognises the 'net' financial debt, which is only the debt owed to the banks, some 90 million euros. But Madrid has other debts -- to players, clubs, sporting associations, public administration, suppliers. That all adds up to 541 million euros, more than double the debt Florentino inherited from Lorenzo Sanz."
Construction magnate Perez's plans for the redevelopment of Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu are a cause for concern in this context, Mendoza said.
"Even with that debt, he wants to take on the redevelopment of the Bernabeu, which he says will cost 400 million euros," he added. "And then he says he does not know how it will be financed, that he will use ingenious methods... If there is uncertainty, then to plunge into this 400 million euros Bernabeu project does not seem the most prudent.
"And there is another detail -- two lines of credit have been opened and they have had to put down as security the income from the sporting sponsor and from members fees and season ticket sales for three or four years... This is not just me saying it -- it is in the club's accounts. The financial institutions are asking for such guarantees as they do not trust in the club's solvency."
Mendoza accepted a Forbes report that Madrid is now the world's richest club, and Perez's claims that, thanks to his marketing skills, the club's revenues had now topped the 500 million euros mark -- but said his main problem was with expenditure, not income.
"We have the highest revenues, but also the highest outgoings," he argued. "And revenues have been growing by 12 percent a year for the last decade, but in the last year only grew by 1 percent, while the costs are exploding."
Mendoza also claimed that next year's figures are likely to be worse after the summer's transfer business -- which included a 200 million euros outlay on players such as Gareth Bale, Isco, Asier Illarramendi, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro.
"The [latest] accounts are up to June 30," he said. "Bale will be included in the next year, and will be amortised -- if he cost 100 million euros and has five-year contract, it will be put in as a cost of 20 million euros a year. The amount paid for Bale is scandalous."
The sales of senior players including Ozil to Arsenal and Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli were financially motivated, Mendoza said, while Kaka's return to Milan would pose another problem.
"They [Madrid] have had to sell to compensate the cost of signings, like Higuain," he said. "With that, they can cover it up with make-up for next year. The sale of Kaka will look very bad in the accounts, as he had two years left to amortise at 20 million euros a year. Then there is Bale, Illara, Isco and salaries going up. Ozil was bought cheaply and sold expensively. That will have a positive effect on the accounts, but the costs keep going up and up."
Mendoza also repeated a line -- regularly reiterated by AS editor Alfredo Relano in recent months – that, since former coach Vicente Del Bosque left in 2003, Madrid had won relatively little under Perez.
"Since he sacked Del Bosque, Florentino has spent 800 million euros on players to win one La Liga and one Copa del Rey," he said. "The model is clearly not efficient."