Florentino Perez has claimed that Gareth Bale can ‘define an era’ at Real Madrid during his speech at the club’s annual General Assembly.
The Blancos President praised the Wales international following his record-breaking move from Tottenham over the summer, whilst also remarking on the state of the team’s finances and Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract renewal.
“Your support and affection is very important to me. I thank you all. My obsession is permanent improvement.
“These past few years have been very hard from an economic point of view, yet in spite of this we have increased our assets and solidarity.
“I know very well that here nothing is enough; we always want more. We are starting up a new project and we need both new impetus and to play good football, which is what the technical team are striving for. There is only one final destination in the hearts of the ‘madridistas’ and that is winning. We have the ability and ideas to do it, along with the strength of the Madrid supporters.
“Santiago Bernabéu established a model to create the legend of Madrid. We are following that model and aim to have the best players in the world here and from the youth system.
“We are aware of the extraordinary numbers we have in our accounts, and these can define the road we are on. Forbes considers Madrid to be the most important sporting institution worldwide, valued at 3.4 billion euros.
“Last season was certainly a difficult one on the sporting side. We won the Supercopa, reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and played in the final of the Copa del Rey. That may be a lot for some, but for us we believe it is not enough. We got off to a bad start in La Liga, which was possibly influenced by the success of the previous season. That start defined the rest of the season. We have taken a qualitative leap that places us at the top level, but we want more and that is why we have strengthened the squad.
“Ancelotti’s record and experience is indisputable. He has won two European trophies and was described as the best trainer in England and Italy. He has all the qualities to set up his own style of play, together with Zidane, whose prestige and image will be a great help.
“We have Cristiano, the best player in the world, as an example. He has demonstrated his love for the club by pledging his allegiance for many years.
“We have brought in two big Spanish players, Isco and Illarramendi, two of the greatest hopes in Spanish football. At just 21, Isco has become a reference point and member of the national side. He is a unique player that has already shown his talent in the Champions League. Illarramendi is a big player in Spanish football. Carvajal is the boy that placed the first stone with the honorary president in Valdebabas. He was successful in the Bundesliga, a highly competitive league, and was chosen by Bild as the best full-back that season. Jesé, Morata, Nacho, Casemiro and Jesús have also come into the first team from the ranks, which is a great source of pride.
“Now we have a player that can define an era. Bale has been the star player and the image of the Premier League - the best player in the last two seasons. He is going to help us with all the challenges we face: winning trophies, the Tenth Champions League and creating a spectacle, these are our challenges, and our objective.
“Nine players in the first team come from the ranks, which has also supplied the first division with 44 players, and 52 in the first divisions around Europe. That is 96 in total. Another 37 are competing in the second division. Around the world 132 are currently playing. That shows the work that is being done. Castilla were the best B-Team as they returned to the second division last season, scoring 80 goals and overtaking the 69 scored by the incomparable Castilla from the ’83-84 season.”
“The figures we have to present here are spectacular. Last year we recorded an income of 529 million euros, the highest in the world for nine years in a row. There are not even entities in the USA with the same figures. This sporting leadership guarantees us the independence we need and puts us in a position to face every sporting challenge. Since 2000 the annual growth of our income has been at 12%.”
“The income from the members represents 9.5% of the toal. The turnstiles and stadium, television rights, and marketing each represent a third. The profits after tax were 36.1 million last season, 54% higher than the previous one. The financial debt has gone from 124.7 million to 90.6 million euros; the net debt has gone from 0.8 times the operating profit to 0.6 times. The debt ratio went from 0.5 times to 0.3 times. Europe demands that the staff expense does not exceed 70%. The income from the coming season will be 515 million euros, and the projected income 35 million.”