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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jun 12, 2009

Perez: Spending will not overwhelm Real with debt

The purchase of Kaka and massive bid for Cristiano Ronaldo will not lead to Real Madrid being burdened by a huge amount of debt, new president Florentino Perez was quoted as saying on Friday.

Real were given permission to negotiate with Ronaldo after Manchester United accepted a world record bid of £80m for the Portugal winger on Thursday.

Three days earlier, Brazil playmaker Kaka joined the Spanish giants from AC Milan for a fee reported to be around £59m.

"On the contrary, we think can improve our accounts by aiming for three goals," construction magnate Perez was quoted as saying by Friday's La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked about the debt issue.

"Increasing ticket sales, increasing bank loans and increasing the club's economic value."

He added that Real generated enough revenue to cover these massive transfer market investments, with more expected to come, without him having to use his own funds.

"(The money) is exclusively the club's, not mine," said Perez, who twice broke the transfer record in taking "galacticos" Zinedine Zidane and Figo to the Bernabeu in his previous stint as president from 2000-06.

"Real Madrid takes about 400 million (euros) a year, the fruit of three sources of income - a third from ticket sales, a third from television rights and a third from merchandising."

On Friday FIFA President Sepp Blatter dismissed concerns over the value of the Ronaldo deal arguing that it demonstrated the game's enduring popularity.

Blatter has in the past spoken out about the huge sums of money in the game.

But he told a news conference in Johannesburg he saw nothing wrong with the 24-year-old FIFA World Player of the Year's proposed move from Manchester United, which is still to be finalised.

UEFA President Michel Platini said on Thursday the bid for the Portuguese winger was excessive when football was facing severe challenges during a global recession.

Other sports officials also criticised the amount. But Blatter said: "What does 80m mean when 10 years ago another player with the same name (Ronaldo of Brazil) moved from one club to another for 50m dollars?.

"It means that there is still a demand to have the stars."

Blatter added: "We are in a very sensitive market, in an economic crisis, but football remains a fantastic product, not just to buy or sell but a product that gives people what they want - emotions. They want the stars.

"Ten years ago a painting from Picasso's Blue Period was sold by Sothebys in London for over 100m. And what happened to the painting?

"They hid it somewhere so no-one could take it away. Nobody can see it. But you can see a football player once or twice a week, he is there, he is a star. You might say it is too much, but you have to put it in context of what football in our society is worth and what other things in our society are worth."

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