Perez: Bernabeu plans on track
Florentino Perez has said plans for a remodelled Bernabeu were progressing well but proposals for a Real Madrid theme park in the Middle East had stalled.
Plans to upgrade the Bernabeu were announced at the club’s 2012 AGM and involve a new commercial and hotel complex as well as significant improvements to the existing stadium structure.
The idea of a larger footprint for the club was criticised by some nearby residents, while in April it was reported that Madrid were being investigated by the European Commission for allegedly receiving illegal state aid after a land swap with the city authorities saw it receive a site beside the current ground.
But in a briefing ahead of this Sunday’s AGM, Blancos president Perez said complications with the €300 million project had been overcome and the club may now be in a better position than before.
“The agreement with the Madrid town hall was appealed and a judge granted them an injunction,” he said. “But the supreme court of the region overturned that appeal and that has allowed us to tell the architects to improve their models. It will be a spectacular stadium, closed, and with air conditioning.”
The chief of Spanish construction giant ACS said progress on the Real Madrid Resort Island announced for the United Arab Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah in May last year was now more likely to be built in Abu Dhabi.
“We had an agreement with an emirate, but they wanted to finance it through some investors and it did not come through for them,” Perez said. “Now its promoters want us to do it in another emirate, in Abu Dhabi, beside Ferrari World.”
The president also spoke of the possibility that changes to Spanish laws may mean Madrid has to alter its ownership structure from members-owned club to limited company (SAD).
“The only tax advantage we have is that we pay 25 percent taxes, not 30 percent,” he said. “For the other clubs, it is better that we are not an SAD because we would have more money and the difference would be bigger. If they force us to become an SAD, then fine -- each socio would get one share.”
He also said reports claiming Cristiano Ronaldo’s new salary was around €20 million a year were far-fetched. “What has been written in some places in the media about what Cristiano will earn is a lie,” he said.
But he suggested rumours that Mesut Ozil -- and especially his father, Mustapha -- had forced through his recent move to Arsenal were closer to the mark. “At Madrid a player with a contract goes if they want to go,” he said.
“In Ozil’s case, it was more his camp.
“We asked the coaches and they told us he could leave. You must be able to take the pressure. You could make a link with players who have left here as they could not handle the pressure.”