News and opinions
24 January 2013
Florentino Pérez, the president of Real Madrid, spoke before the press at the VIP box of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium to deny a report published in a Madrid newspaper claiming that the players had demanded the exit of coach José Mourinho: “I’m speaking in light of the seriousness of what happened in order to make it clear that there was no ultimatum that the coach or anyone else leave the team given at the captain’s lunch. We had lunch to discuss bonuses. The meeting was held in a relaxed atmosphere as usual. What has been said is not true, not in its content or in how much was said. I respect the press and I respect criticisms although they seem unfair. There are ethical limits that should be respected by those that aren’t a part of our project. It doesn’t seem ethical to resort to lies to destabilize the club”.
► FULL STATEMENT ROM FLORENTINO'S PÉREZ PRESS CONFERENCE
In his roughly 15 minute talk Florentino Pérez explained that he was left with no choice but to call the press conference to respond to the seriousness of the situation, something he usually doesn’t do: “As you can see, given the seriousness of what happened today I’ve broken my own rule about not speaking about day-to-day team business. It is absolutely false that any kind of ultimatum was discussed regarding the coach or anything similar at the lunch we had with the captains last Tuesday. As you all know, we usually have lunch in January with the two captains and the general manager in order to set the bonuses for the different competitions of the season.”
The Real Madrid president stressed that “the meeting was held as usual in a relaxed atmosphere with a responsible attitude on the part of the captains. What has been reported is untrue. Neither the content or the quantities of what was discussed, and I want to reiterate that I have a lot of respect for the press. I take criticisms although they might be objectively unfair or seem so to me. I think that I’ve demonstrated my ability to withstand the repeated insults that attempt to control the path of this club over the years. But I think there are ethical boundaries that must be respected, even by those that don’t share our opinion”.
In addition, Pérez said that one of the foundations of journalism is to check information, something that wasn’t done in this case: “None of the four people at the meeting, two here before you and Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, have been called to check the truth of what was said or to get our version of the story. I think that’s very serious. I even understand that someone might want someone else to leave the club, but to resort to lies to destabilize the club and the team to make that happen, even when we win and secure our place in the Copa del Rey semifinals, I say publically that it seems unethical to me. These types of things have happened repeatedly, but they’re not going to happen again”.
Florentino Pérez took advantage of the moment to send a message of unity against the systematic attacks on the club: “I have to say, beyond it being in the interests of some, it’s just simply a lie. I also want to remind the members and fans about our unity, which has made us into the best club in the world. We’re the only ones that decide the future of our club”.
There was a question and answer session for journalists after the president’s press conference. Florentino Pérez reiterated the seriousness of the situation and the reason for his appearance: “I’m here to deny a false report that aims to achieve personal goals and destabilize the world’s most prestigious organization that has 100 years of history. The information published today after a really important win for our club is that the Real Madrid captains have given the club an ultimatum. I’m telling you that this information is really serious and I want to say publically that it’s a lie. These reports come to no good for Madrid nor for the newspaper that publishes them.”
The lie is precisely what led the Real Madrid president to make a special appearance before the press: “I hear everything. Like with Falcao, that I’m going to sign this player, that others are leaving, that we want to give a raise to someone else, but today I only want to take about one thing, and that is that a Madrid newspaper has published a lie on their front page that intends to destabilize the club. I want to publically denounce this report and it’s serious enough for me to be here. I was taught that you journalists have a code which is to check your information. Why didn’t anyone call us? I know that my getting involved is rough but when the line is crossed and someone tries to destabilize the team…then I have to be here”.
Florentino Pérez also explained that he has not spoken with Mourinho about the situation yet because everything happened so quickly: “I haven’t spoken with Mourinho. When I saw the news this morning it seemed so serious to me that someone could play with an institution like Real Madrid. But this isn’t an everyday thing. I know that there’s an element of entertainment in sports. When the line is crossed and someone tries to destabilize the club with lies I will be here defending this institution because I’m the president and it’s my job to defend the club. I’m here before you today in behalf of the players as well”. Although it wasn’t the topic of the day Pérez also took the time to speak about injured goalkeeper Casillas: “I truly feel bad about his injury and we’ll have a chance to speak about it on another occasion”.