Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Real president looks back on his first 100 days

In a lengthy interview with Spanish daily As, Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón reviews his initial 100 days in office. As is second only to the club's own press office in singing the praises of Real Madrid, so you shouldn't expect a searching, challenging interview, but there are a few interesting tidbits (translation is my own):

On calling new elections within a year:

First you have to pacify the club. Elections should not disturb the running of the club and up until now they have definitely had an impact. Everything had to stop for them, and that is not good. I am not ruling out calling elections, but I cannot foresee the date when they would take place. I was elected for four years and I would like to serve that time. It would be good for the stability of the club.

He seems to be hoping for a good set of results this season to take the pressure off him to call elections that he might lose.

On reactions to his running of the club:
After this first 100 days, it is unexpected to see so much unwillingness to trust the team. If I could, I would erase from this period peple's lack of patience. We have lost none of our five league games, and conceded only two goals. The only failure was that day at Lyon.

Is he being purposefully naive about the fans' patience running out? Three years with no titles...

On not interfering:
Any coach knows more about football than a president. I may have my own opinions, but they are not worth as much as those of a professional. To interfere in the starting line-up would be suicidal.

Let's hope this doesn't come back to haunt him...

On Raúl:
Capello is selecting him because he knows Raúl is a key player. Capello has no favourites so he is playing purely on merit. I hope Luis (Aragonés) knows what he's doing. But I think Raúl will be back in the national side..

On Beckham retiring:
I have called Beckham personally to talk about his future and there will be no problems, absolutely not. All that was a misunderstanding based on an inaccurate translation of what I wanted to say.

In other reports, he confirmed that he had said that Beckham would retire in two years, but that it was based on what he had heard from others, rather than from the player himself.

On not keeping his election promises:
On the street they have forgotten about the whole Kaká saga, a player we would still like to have in our squad, but it is clear that if people voted for me it wasn't because of him. Kaká was a small piece of my overall programme. People voted for me because I brought Capello and with him a serious approach to the sporting side of running the club.

He seems to have conveniently forgotten about also promising to bring Cesc and Robben...

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