Florentino Perez covered a range of topics in his speech to Real Madrid socios during Sunday morning’s digital General Assembly.
Undoubtedly the biggest piece of news from this assembly was Perez’s comments on the future of football where he suggests he would be in favor of a European Superleague. “Football must adapt to these new times,” he told the assembly,” Real Madrid will be at the forefront as it always has been, looking out for what, in the words of the president of FIFA Gianni Infantino, should always be football’s priority, the interests of the fans. Reforming football cannot wait and we have to get down to it as soon as possible. The biggest clubs in Europe have millions of fans spread across the world. We have the responsibility to fight for this change, a change that we should approach from the perspective of solidarity”.
He also gave his opinions on VAR, suggesting Real Madrid are treated differently to other teams and pointing out that some plays during big games aren’t replayed on TV, “everyone can see that there is a huge difference - not just in the reps, but also in the people who talk about the game and are never positive about Real Madrid. Compared to other clubs, Real Madrid is treated differently. ”
Outside of the headlines, the Assembly approved Real Madrid 2019/20 Annual Report and also approved the budget for 2020/21. We are still waiting for the full report to be published on Real Madrid’s website, however, the major parts of the report were released earlier this month. Overall, the club finished 2019/20 313,000 euros in the green. The effect of COVID-19 have been devastating with the club losing 13% of its income for last season (around 106 million euros lost).
The club has budgeted 607 million euros profit for next season, which is around 300 million less than they would have expected. This number might go up next season should crowds return as current projections have been made under the assumption that fans won’t return to stadiums this season. Real are already preparing another wage cut with their staff, however, the most concerning part of this report for fans in the short term is how hardly the club’s savings was hit by the virus. The statement from December revealed that COVID impacted the club’s treasury 50% higher than the lower income from this season. The club have spent 154 million covering losses from the virus plus the cancellation of sponsorship deals and some memberships.
What this will mean for any summer spending in 2021 is yet to be seen and until the full report is published, it would unfair to speculate.
On a brighter note, significant progress has been made on renovating the Bernabeu and its expected the project will be complete in 2022. Real took out a 575 million euro loan to renovate the stadium and plans to repay the loan in 29.5 million euro installments between July 2023 and July 2049. Perez was also able to reflect on a successful year on the pitch with the men’s team winning the league and Supercup, the youth side winning the UEFA Youth League and the basketball side clinching the club’s 28th Copa del Rey and sixth Spanish Super Cup.
2020 will also be the year that Real completed its merger with Tacon to offically launch a women’s team and faced adversity in the most admirable of ways, donating 3.3 millions euros to the fighting the virus and offering the Bernabeu as storage space for health authorities.