Real Madrid’s Annual General Meeting took place today, and club president Florentino Perez spoke to club members on a variety of different topics. We have put the main quotes below, and will discuss details from today’s event in more detail once today’s games are finished.
On the passing of Paco Gento
“Earlier this year we bid farewell to our beloved honorary president. We are all deeply saddened at the loss of one of the greatest legends of Real Madrid and world football. He was part of that generation of legendary players who changed the history of both Real Madrid and football.
“Today, I would also like to express my heartfelt condolences to the victims of the tragedy that occurred in the last few hours in a football stadium in Indonesia, where over 100 people have lost their lives. We send our condolences to all their loved ones. I would like to ask you to hold a minute’s silence.
“We have the responsibility to safeguard the values of this sporting institution, which is the most prestigious and the most loved and admired in the world. These values have been passed down from generation to generation and constitute the pillars of our legacy and history: effort, sacrifice, camaraderie, humility, respect, solidarity and the ability to constantly improve”.
On Real Madrid’s sporting vision
“Everything that has been experienced this year at the Bernabéu can never be forgotten. Our stadium is magical. This is because our fans stick together until the very last minute and because they know that our players never give up. The winning of the Decimocuarta came against Liverpool, one of the most legendary clubs and one of the most powerful teams in Europe.
“We must thank our players, who are already legends of Real Madrid and of world football. Nine players have won five Champions League trophies. Benzema was voted the best player of the Champions League and the top scorer of the competition. Nobody can have any doubt that he will be the next Ballon d’Or winner. We also have the best goalkeeper in the world in Courtois. And Vinicius Junior was named the best young player in the Champions League.
“Real Madrid won its 14th trophy as European champions under the guidance of a coach, Carlo Ancelotti, who has once again made history with Real Madrid. This was his fourth European Cup. This team made history last season when, on top of the Champions League, they won the 35th LaLiga title and did it magnificently. And they also won the club’s twelfth Spanish Super Cup.
“We have an extraordinary team. This is the result of a sporting strategy and planning process that we have been pursuing for a number of years. This consists of bringing together players who are already the best in the world in their position and incorporating young players who provide a new impetus. This year we have brought in two great players in Tchouameni and Rüdiger.
“I would like to express our recognition and gratitude to some great figures who have starred in one of the most successful periods in our history. Our captain Marcelo, the player with the most trophies in Real Madrid’s 120-year history. Casemiro, one of our great leaders in this wonderful era that Real Madrid has experienced. Bale, a pivotal player in many of the great finals that brought us so much joy. Isco is another of the outstanding players who has left our club after winning five European Cups.
“This squad is still hungry for success and understands that the high level of demand does not allow for relaxation or complacency. After winning the UEFA Super Cup, Real Madrid have begun this new season by winning every game. It is the only team in the five big leagues to have won every game. This certainly constitutes the way forward, to continue working to prolong a period of huge triumphs that has resulted in 23 trophies in the last 12 seasons.
Real Madrid’s financial situation
“The previous two seasons, 2019/20 and 2020/21, were characterised by the effects of the pandemic. Through strict measures and a drastic reduction of operating expenses, we managed to close the two financial years with a positive result. The club’s management has remained focused on cost control and business development in all areas, with the strategic alliance with the Legends company and its owner Sixth Street being of particular importance.
“Income in the 2021/22 season totalled €722 million, which represents an increase of 10% on the previous season. But this is still €100 million lower than the budget for the pre-pandemic 2019/20 season. The club has posted a profit of €13 million and managed to sustain a profit in all three pandemic-affected financial years, despite forgoing revenue of more than €400 million.”
“The transformation of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium is one of the greatest challenges our club has faced in recent decades. Three years have now passed since work began and today we can say that the Madridista dream is very close to becoming a reality.
“The aim is to complete the work next summer. And then we will see that this will mark a before and an after for our club. The Bernabéu, one of the greatest temples of world football, will also become a symbol of the avant-garde architecture of the city of Madrid and one of the most spectacular places for leisure and entertainment in Europe”.
European Super League
“It is our understanding that the European competitions played during the week need to be changed in order to provide fans with matches throughout the year, at the highest level, between the strongest teams and with the best players in the world facing each other.
“The diagnosis of football’s disease is evident: we need a professional, modern and transparent governance, adapted to the global challenges in today’s world, and not based on old structures created in the last century. And we need to deliver the quality and attractive product that will restore the fans’ enthusiasm and passion for football.
“Real Madrid is the most decorated club in history and competition is in our DNA. Real Madrid founded FIFA, founded the European Cup, promoted all the necessary reforms for the benefit of our sport over the last century, and carries the responsibility, in the eyes of hundreds of millions of fans around the world, to protect football in its entirety. The Super League remains in the midst of European court proceedings challenging UEFA’s monopoly in European football”.