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Real Madrid In Debt?

Guest Reg Reagan

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Guest Reg Reagan

Real In Trouble

The Guardian


MORTGAGE stress is one thing. Superstar footballer stress is not quite so expected, even in these times of economic doom and gloom.


But financial reality has finally struck home at Real Madrid, the club that for years personified the Monopoly-money mindset of European soccer.


Just months ago it was named as the world's richest club, yet now Real have reportedly gone cap-in-hand to the bank for credit of more than £23million - in part because of David Beckham's departure.


The credit that Real has sought is to cover its day to day running costs, just like a homeowner with a posh residence but without enough cashflow coming through the front door.


To put it in perspective, £23million is more than 26 times what an A-League club is permitted to spend on the salary cap.


Things could get worse as Spain's El Mundo newspaper reported that the club's directors are under orders to find extra investment on top of the overdraft.


Three major financial holes have combined to send a chill wind blowing through the famous Bernabeau Stadium - and Beckham's switch to the US is the most painful.


His exit has cost Real between £28million and £36million in annual revenue, according to a study by the Barcelona-based International University of Catalonia, further evidence of the player's marketable worth.


Real have also dropped out of the money-spinning European Champions League at a relatively early stage this season.


The club also had to pay an undisclosed amount to dispense with coach Fabio Capello, even though he led Beckham & co. to the Spanish championship last June in the first year of a three-year deal as the highest-paid coach in Madrid's history.


The club would not comment on the report, saying its last financial statement was published for members in September.


In February, financial consultants Deloitte released a study listing Madrid as the world's wealthiest soccer club last season.


The study said they made £280million in revenue in the 12 months to June 30, 2007 - up 20 per cent from the same period in the previous season.


When Ramon Calderon was elected club president in July 2006, he said the club was in good financial condition. He then spent millions bringing in new players, leading to last year's Spanish league title.


In June, Calderon said Madrid was still in good financial health, with its income almost evenly divided between ticket and concession sales, television deals and marketing.


Madrid also approached Mediapro, which holds broadcast rights from 2010, for an advance, the report said.


Madrid officials, who apparently told some of its departments to spend less money, told El Mundo there was no cause for concern.





I didnt think they would be in so much debt

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