Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon says Jose Mourinho "is laughing" at the club having secured himself a job at Chelsea while leaving a "grotesque" vacuum behind him at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
While Mourinho was proclaiming himself 'The Happy One' at his second coming at Stamford Bridge on Monday, Madrid's search for a replacement looked no closer to ending - with Paris Saint-Germain refusing to release Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane reportedly feeling he is not yet ready to become a head coach.
Calderon, a former colleague turned bitter rival of current Madrid president Florentino Perez, told AS that Mourinho had played the situation superbly from his point of view, but had left Madrid in an awful situation.
"It is grotesque," Calderon said. "Their leg has been pulled. They let a coach go without having another one lined up. People should know that when Mourinho renewed his contract [just 12 months ago], there was a compensation clause for both parties, worth one year's salary [about €12 million]. But now the conclusion is that Madrid is without a coach and the coach, he has a team. Mourinho is laughing at everyone."
Perez's plan for next season - signalled in the run-up to him being confirmed as club president for four more years - was to bring in Ancelotti as first-team coach, with Zidane in a sporting director role in overall charge of the "sporting project". This 'project' now appears in doubt with PSG digging in their heels over Ancelotti and Zidane, who has not publicly commented on his situation, reportedly preferring to ease himself into coaching as the Italian's assistant.
Calderon suggested Perez was only turning to Zidane "in desperation" and the situation resembled the 2005-06 season which saw Juan Ramon Lopez Caro promoted from B team coach to oversee the first team and Benito Floro as sporting director. Madrid ended that campaign without a trophy, and Perez soon stepped down. Calderon won the subsequent presidential election, but resigned himself in 2009 amid allegations of vote rigging at the club's 2008 AGM. He maintains his innocence, and the investigation remains ongoing.
"I have a lot of doubts over whether Florentino really believes in Zidane," Calderon said. "He is looking desperately for solutions which would have some effect. I hope we do not end up in a sad situation like the first time with Lopez Caro as coach and Benito Floro as sporting director. That is how his magical galactico project ended."
Speaking on Marca TV on Monday evening, Perez suggested Zidane's precise role had yet to be agreed upon.
"Zidane knows everything, the good players on every team, in Italy, in France...," he said. "He wants to be coach and he could be over a youth team or assistant to the coach who comes in. We will see."
Ancelotti remained an option for coach, but only if he became free of Paris Saint-Germain, Perez said.
"About Ancelotti I can only say that we wanted to bring him here four years ago, that he is at a club which is a friend of ours and that there was a misunderstanding, as we were told he would be free to leave," he said. "If he becomes free then we would consider that option. But he is not free."