Thursday, 17 April 2008

Keeping an eye on the board

The running of a football club involves a lot more than those elements that the ordinary fans are concerned with on a day-to-day basis: players on form, or injured, competition standings, what the rivals are up to, who's going to be bought or sold. Occasionally fans look more closely at institutional or financial matters, to see whether the club will have enough money for players or new facilities. They rarely think, however, about the dark murky doings of club officials looking to get reelected. Perhaps they should.

On Monday, I wrote about the Real Madrid board's announcement that they were putting a halt to the current activities regarding the selection of new socios compromisarios (those who can vote at AGMs) following complaints from a number of socios about irregularities in the process. This followed allegations about said process first announced on a radio programme.

It seems both the original allegations, as well as the subsequent complaints, were raised by Plataforma Blanca, a group of around 600 Real Madrid socios who have appointed themselves guardians of transparency at the club. A good thing, but still too small a proportion of members to influence policy. Their aims, in the short term at least, are:

  • Introduce a code of ethics and good governance (obviously they don't think much of Mr. Calderón)
  • Reform the postal vote along the lines of large corporate organisations, and explore the possibility of online voting
  • Clarify the election timetable, as the last elections were the subject of heavy controversy and they don't think the president is fully legitimised (they really don't think much of Mr. Calderón!)

Earlier today, the electoral commission, heavily criticised by the board in their Monday statement, retorted that the board had no jurisdiction over the electoral process (according to article 56 of the club statutes) and therefore could not suspend the current selection process, which would continue for the benefit of those candidates whose selection process was above board. In their letter to the board, they urge them to "stop avoiding their responsibilities" and initiate an investigation into the alleged irregularities.

So, it's now up to the board to respond once again to the allegations that they are passing the buck, presumably because they don't want anyone to find out what some of their members have (allegedly) been up to.


Lee (La Liga Review) said...

Very Interesting.

This Plataforma Blanco sounds a lot like the Elefant Blau at Barcelona a few years ago - the one headed by a certain Joan Laporta who campaigned for greater transparency and democracy at the club and later went on to become the only president in the history of the club to be ordered to hold an election by a court of law.

Anyway, like the Elefant Blau couldn't the Plataforma Blanca push through a motion / vote of censure - or don't the Madrid statutes permit it?

Anonymous said...

The statutes do permit a motion of censure, but only during an Extrarodinary General Meeting. The problem, of course is, that only the socios compromisarios can vote at such meetings, which goes to the heart of the issue