Real Madrid president Florentino Perez used the club's annual dinner for the Spanish media on Thursday to attempt to heal the increasingly poisonous relationship between the press and Los Blancos boss Jose Mourinho.
The event took place days after the most recent incident between Mourinho and Madrid journalists, during which the Portuguese reportedly harangued Marca writer Anton Meana, accusing him of being deliberately negative towards the club in a tirade that descended into personal abuse.
"In the world of football me and my coaches are 'top', while in the world of journalism you are a s***," Meana has claimed Mourinho said to him."
As Madrid's form has dipped this season, Mourinho has come in for increasingly strong criticism in Spain, leading to a strained atmosphere at press conferences. His relationship with Marca is particularly bad, and he is currently suing the paper's editor Roberto Palomar after a September article that described the former Chelsea manager as "the type of person who leaves after causing a car crash."
Perez told the assembled reporters at Real's dinner that he hoped both his club and the media could try and put an end to such unpleasantness and focus on the positive side of football in general.
"I would like if we were more united," he said. "Real Madrid and the media need each other, we would live much better if we were united. In my way of seeing things, football is not tension, it is leisure, entertainment.
"People do not like tension and whoever brings it does not get much out of people. People like to enjoy themselves, they come to the stadium to relax, to forget the problems they have at home. Football should not serve to stress people, it should be completely the opposite."
With Mourinho's team currently in third place in La Liga, 13 points behind leaders Barcelona, construction magnate Perez said he hoped 2013 would be a year in which things turned around in many different ways.
"I know that we need to improve and we have not done everything well, including our relationship with the media," he said. "I know this is a great club, and tension is not a great thing. We are passionate about comebacks, in everything. Madrid never gives up, not on the sporting side or in improving our relationships, and I believe in this comeback."
While summing up Madrid's achievements during 2012, Perez praised a record which included two trophy wins and two near-misses, while adding that there was always room for improvement at the Bernabeu.
"Last season Madrid did well," he said. "We reached the Copa del Rey and Champions League semi-finals and won La Liga beating all the records. This season we have won the Supercopa de Espana. But even that is not enough at Madrid. We want to win everything."