In a European football calendar altered by the coronavirus pandemic, Real Madrid almost headed into a loop of negativity in recent times. But thanks Zidane’s attitude and Florentino Perez’s sustained aggression to keep the club afloat, they are yet to enter a sporting crisis.
With the quality of players provided to Zidane, he could have done a much better job without a doubt. But these are not easy times. There is no one in Spain who could have handled the situation better than Zidane with the given restraints.
Loaning Odegaard to Arsenal is a strange one for the fans. The players who were brought back from his loan at Zidane’s personal request to supplement Madrid was loaned out again midseason. But it can all be attributed to a stubborn Odegaard or an effort to reduce the wage bill.
How Bad the Situation is?
Although the Spanish market is not the richest and most developed in Europe, in terms of revenues Real lead among all teams on the planet, including the NFL, MLB, and NBA franchises
At Present for every 1.000 euros produced in the Spanish economy, 1,20 euros come from Real Madrid and Barcelona. Ten years ago, this figure was 0,80 euros and in 2003 only 0,40 euros. The index has tripled since the early 2000s
The coronavirus pandemic has heavily impacted finances in football throughout Europe. However, Real Madrid are having difficulty in dealing with the lack of finances pouring in.
Real Madrid debt rockets to €901m
The wealthiest of the clubs have failed to stay aloof from the financial crisis. Spanish giants Barcelona had reported a debt estimated at €1.2 billion recently, as they head towards bankruptcy due to lack of a proper financial plan.
Now, Real Madrid has also joined the list. They are not threatened by bankruptcy but their debt bill looks almost similar to Barcelona. Outlined by Diario Sport, the gross total debt figure at Madrid now stands at a whopping €901m with the net debt at a figure of €355m. In a breather, Real Madrid owes just €203 million in short-term debt. . The defending LaLiga champions owe €355 million in net debt, of which proceeds of €114 million have been directed towards the renovation of the Bernabeu.
“Big clubs like Barcelona are in heavy debts because they depend on revenues from ticketing and museums, something that they just couldn't generate last year,” Javier Tebas, the La Liga president said in an interview.
Real Madrid generates a hefty amount of money with their Stadium tickets, merchandise sells and museum tours. With the lockdown, everything is completely shut down. UCL matches are a huge revenue source. But by the looks of it UCL matches of this season will be also completed in empty stadiums. It would take a miracle for the fans to return to La Liga matches this season.
One of many reasons why Florentino Perez is pushing for the idea of “European Super League”. The format of the competition would favor some of the strongest, biggest clubs in European football. A match between Real Madrid vs Huesca would produce less attendance than a European League match between Real Madrid vs Juventus. They could charge more for the super league matches also.
Real Madrid has projections to pay the debts of their stadium renovation early if the idea of Super League comes to reality. It would be a major financial hit without a doubt but the idea was not appreciated enough by FIFA.
When Cristiano Ronaldo left the club’s one of the most successful galatico project lured them to go on for another. They signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea. Eden Hazard was supposed to be the talisman who would directly replace Cristiano Ronaldo and form a partnership between Gareth Bale and Benzema. Both Bale and Hazard disappointed Real Madrid in the 2018-19 season. Hazard’s career at Real Madrid started with injury-driven patches and finally after one a half year later he is showing promises. Gareth Bale was almost forced out on loan to Tottenham while paying for his salary till now. There are no talks about buying Bale permanently or any other offer from another club. By the looks of it, Bale will return to Madrid to complete his contract till 2022. With him, he will bring his huge salary bill.
Being Zidane is tough
Zidane had many plans for a return campaign to Madrid. The boss delivered a La Liga title amidst the toughest time in modern football. But it was not a merry go round. Zidane had to keep a squad motivated in a very tight league race and a pandemic. He had to integrate players who are just starting their legs at Real Madrid.
At the start of the season when Real Madrid said we won’t buy anyone this season, they were sure of that. They were ready to deal with whatever they had. Despite leakage in defense and impenetrability in attack and the injuries, they didn’t opt for buying. They stick with what they had. Zidane was the public defendant and advocate of that strong stance of Real Madrid. He basically inherited a squad that just won him a La Liga in the toughest of conditions. We saw a resurgent version of Kross and Modric., the two pillars of Real Madrid midfield who won them three consecutive UCL. Without them, Real would have knocked out UCL in group matches this season. Much credit to Modric and Kross, but no one seems to give credit to Zizou for their improvement. No top club in Europe was this adamant about not buying players during a pandemic. But Real Madrid kept their word and no one deserves more credit than Florentino Perez and Zidane. They are still alive in UCL and fighting for La Liga.
The Future: Another AC Milan?
Football is a volatile business. The butterfly effect and ripple effect of events could change your fortune. Leeds United—who once beat Barca in a European Cup semi-final—have been out of the top tier of English football since 2004. It took them more than decades to return to Premier League. Manchester United yet to win a Premier League title since Sir Alex retired and new financial policy kicked in. The fall of the mighty AC Milan—who have won more European Cups than any other club except Real Madrid—is another cautionary tale. They were consistently the third-wealthiest club in football in the middle of the 2000s, but now they're outside football's top 20 earners. With investors pouring money from all corners of the world, publicly owned clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona face the danger of falling out of the race.
Madrid recently announced their financial projections for the 20/21 season, which is set at a staggering €637 million. While the numbers might be staggering for the public, Madrid maintains that this projected figure is less than €300 million than the assumed figure if the pandemic didn’t hit. In simpler words, if COVID wouldn’t have reached Spain, Madrid would have had about a billion Euros to work with this season.
Real Madrid is being careful. On paper, everything looks stable for Madrid at the moment. Their sporting project success will determine the course of their financial projection.