‘Madrid will be Florentino’s property’

Rafael Martinez Campillo, part of a group suing Real Madrid over changes to electoral procedures, has warned of the consequences if they lose.

Martinez Campillo will be in court on Wednesday to contest changes to the Madrid statutes from 2012 that led to Florentino Perez being the only candidate in the following year’s election.

“On the one hand I hope we can introduce democratic oxygen. On the other, the trial coincides with the awakening of the members who have noticed that with no sporting project, everything collapses,” Martinez Campillo told AS.

Martinez Campillo alleges the changes to the Madrid statutes, that raised the tenure of membership to 20 years from 10 years before a candidate is eligible to be President, were forced through by Perez.

Candidates had to also show they could guarantee 15% of the club’s budget and it could only come from their personal funds, not a third-party, and be held in a Spanish bank, not a foreign one.

The changes meant that Vicente Boluda, who was elected President in 2009, was not able to run in 2013 as he didn’t meet the membership criteria and, despite having already held the office, will fall short again by the time elections are held in 2017.

“The 20 years’ membership was clearly an ‘anti-Boluda’ clause,” Martinez Campillo argued.

“There’s no discussion. As for the assets, any bank would tell a serious and reliable candidate ‘don’t worry, if you’re elected, you’ll have support.’ Now if I have to go to a bank and show I have €90m personal wealth, forget it.

“These were issues introduced to perpetuate the power of one person. What’s so bad is that, now, with the horrible defeat in the Clasico, if we hadn’t challenged the statutes the possibility of introducing oxygen to Madrid would be zero. We’d be doomed to more of the same.

“I’ve talked to bankers to understand the issue. If you ask them if they’d give a guarantee when someone is elected Madrid President, they’d kill for it. They’d kill for the prestige.”

Perez has hinted he will take the case further if the group wins this first trial but Martinez Campillo hopes a finding in his favour will see changes forced immediately.

“We’d try to get the verdict provisionally executed, since it is a fundamental right. They’d have to call new elections and several highly-qualified teams with less business and more sporting ideas will be willing to take over. The club will recover its humility,” he predicted.

“If that doesn’t happen? It’d be painful. Then Madrid is enshrined as a club destined to be the property of Perez and it’d be hard to think of it as otherwise.”

Tags Florentino Perez Rafael Martinez Campillo