KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has promised fans that the redevelopment of the Estadio Bernabeu will leave the club with the “best stadium in the world.”
However, as the team prepare to launch a new Champions League campaign against Paris Saint-Germain, he was unable to be as positive about prospects out on the pitch.
Perez, a construction magnate who was addressing the annual members’ meeting in the Spanish capital, has focused much of his attention in the past year on raising the funds to redevelop the stadium while maintaining transfer expenditure and wages.
He said: “We’re incredibly excited to convert the Santiago Bernabéu into the best stadium in the world. It will be more comfortable, more accessible, safer, and a worldwide pioneer in architecture and technology. A stadium which is unique in its location, in the heart of the city in the image of Real Madrid which leads the way in sporting terms, financial terms and also with its facilities”.
One of the criticisms of Perez’s command has been that Madrid have concentrated more on business than trophies.
He said: “Our challenge is to keep winning on an international football stage which is increasingly complicated and competitive. This team have won everything possible in a historic cycle which saw us lift 17 titles in the last nine seasons.
“It’s been a difficult season and we’ve all taken stock where necessary because we need to turn the situation around. Don’t be in any doubt that we will do just that.
“When I came back to take on the presidency in 2009, we sat at 13th in the UEFA ranking. Today, Real Madrid are still the Club World Champions, as we have been since 18 December 2016, that’s, 1,001 successive days.
“Every year we break our own revenue records. Last season, 2018-19, our operating revenues hit €757m, surpassing those of the previous season. During the period 2000-2019, revenues have grown at an average rate of 10.5pc per year.
“Real Madrid is the most valuable sports club in the world according to Forbes. It tops the Deloitte ranking of highest-revenue clubs for a 12th year and leads transparency ratings of Champions League and LaLiga clubs.
“Our social networks have topped 320m followers; the Real Madrid website is, for the third year in a row, the most visited football club site in the world, with triple the views of second place, boasting almost 3 million unique users per month.”