I know, I know—it will take somewhere between €400 to €500 million to finance the new stadium, but what about Neymar?...Or Mbappe? Perez has gone soft, hasn’t he? Where’s our next big star, we can’t be wasting money on a stadium! We can all read the headlines now, “Club President Florentino Perez Puts Real Madrid into Massive Debt—The Galacticos Are Dead!”. A rather negative headline from AS has already surfaced, “Perez plans to put Madrid in huge debt to pay for Bernabeu revamp”. The reality of this situation is far different than most reactionary fans or media will portray.
Spanish paper, AS, reported earlier today via the same aforementioned headline, that club President Florentino Perez, after being given approval by shareholders, must now go to the board of directors to get the green light on financing the Santiago Bernabeu stadium renovations. What exactly do those renovations entail? Well read this for detail on the exponential growth both from a technological and simply an aesthetic standpoint. The stadium will be a marvel, an icon of the sporting world, and will reflect the magnitude of Real Madrid. The club have long been after another sponsor once the stadium naming rights deals with both IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Company) and Microsoft fell through. Both deals would have helped finance most of the project and in return the name of the stadium would have been changed (Microsoft Bernabeu was proposed at one point).
It’s unfortunate that Madrid has lost all sponsorship money (though few would be upset that the Santiago Bernabeu will not be changing names), but that does not mean the club should not take this calculated risk, nor should they avoid taking on the debt. The investment in the Santiago Bernabeu will redefine innovation in the modern game. It will catapult the club once again as the leaders and models for all of sport, not just football. The best in the world are always innovating and adapting to one of the few constants in life, change. To adapt with change is to stay ahead of the pack. Real Madrid as brand, as an institution, and as a reflection of their values, pride themselves on being amongst the elite. Few like to admit it, but Real Madrid will not compete in a long-term (meaning decades long struggle) transfer market bidding war against the likes of Manchester City and PSG. What can set the club apart? The Santiago Bernabeu renovations is the first step. An investment that will pay dividends for multiple decades.
The transfer policy of the last three to four seasons now corroborates with the story reported today by AS. If the club do indeed intend to finance this project without the aid of sponsors, then identifying and purchasing the best young talent while they still cost, in relative terms, peanuts, ensure that you have a rising crop of the world’s best players while you sit out on the heavy spending due to the stadium renovations.
From a sporting perspective, the team may very well suffer a dip. How can I still support this project when what truly matters to me is seeing the club win trophies and play top level football year in and year out? It’s the long-term perspective. Maybe we have to suffer in the short-term (the club is trying to mitigate that with the signings of guys like Vincius JR, Rodrygo, Valverde, Asensio, etc.), but in the long-term Madrid will remain among the elite rather than get swept behind with the likes of Manchester City, PSG, and even Manchester United. City already have similarily impressive stadium and training complex plans themselves. Perez knows how important the renovations will be towards the future of the club and he has put the club in a finical position where they can afford to foot the bill. It’s imperative, the board of directors must approve the plans to enhance the future of the club.