Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Boluda: I don't want to be president after the next election

New Real Madrid president Vicente Boluda was interviewed on radio on Monday night to explain what he intends to do at the club until new elections are called.

How are you handling all these interviews?
Not very well. I don't really like being in the media spotlight, getting recognised.

How did you become a director?
I've had a season ticket sat next to [Real Madrid director] Pedro Trapote for many years. He called me one day and asked me if I knew Calderón and that's how it all started. I'm glad to have been a member of his team.

On Thursday when you left Calderón's house, he had no intention of resigning. Did you go to the Bernabéu on Friday thinking you would become president?
No, never. We were in his house the previous day and he was adamant he would remain.

Did you or any of the other directors force him to resign?
Nobody forced him to do anything. Some directors think one way and others think another. Calderón made the right choice in thinking of his health and what's best for the club. The directors were nearly unanimous in deciding that we would respect whatever decision Ramón took. I think his resignation was courageous, not cowardly and he has put his personal prestige on the line.

On Saturday morning, as the new president, what did you say to Juande Ramos? Did you know him from before?
I went to Valdebebas [the Real Madrid training ground] and said a few words to him. I am friendly with him. I said I had confidence in him and that I liked the way he worked. To the players I said not to worry, that we had confidence in them and that we needed them to fight on the pitch.

Were you one of those who recommended Juande for Real Madrid?
They asked me and I said I liked him and thought he was perfect for this club.

You have said that you will leave the club with clean accounts. Can we interpret that as a dig at Calderón?
The accounts are clean right now. All I have to fix is to bring all parties together so that there is peace at the club, for the next four or five months and that we fix outstanding items like the postal vote.

You will reconvene the AGM. Are you sure that Calderón knew nothing of what was happening at the last one?
We have to reconvene the meeting because of what happened. I can assure you that nobody knew anything, not even Ramón.

You are now the Real Madrid president and the next day you gave an interview to the paper that has been most responsible for the persecution [Marca]. Do you think Calderón may feel betrayed by that?
I have to bring a measure of peace, otherwise what am I here for. I have to talk with everyone. That's what I've always done and I will continue to do so. Calderón was not angry, perhaps a little hurt.

You said that Florentino was a good president. Have you spoken to him recently?
Not for some time. My relationship with him is good and we have spoken many times, but note recently.

If he invited you to form part of his candidacy, would you accept?
Not at this moment. I have said that I won't be part of any candidate's team.

Have any of the other candidates called you?
No. I know what is being published, but other than Villalonga, nobody has stated their intention to stand.

Are you sure you won't stand. What if the team wins the Champions League, would you change your mind then?
I won't stand. That is clear. If they win the Champions League, it will be to the players' credit.

Would you like to stay in football in the future?
I'd love to. Maybe in the future I will get involved, but only as a non-executive director, never as president.

Why is Real Madrid in this situation?
It all starts with the club's statutes, we have to make them relevant to the 21st century. It cannot be that the last four or five presidents have left the club in awful circumstances. We are a laughing-stock and we have to change the rules, starting with the postal vote.

How are you proposing to make these changes?
Voting has to be transparent and not able to be manipulated. We already said that we wanted the postal vote to work in the same as Spanish general elections, but it was not approved. We will have to fix this.

What will you decide about the manager's future? Will he stay on next year?
I think Juande is a great manager and that he will stay at Real Madrid next year, because there is a clause in his contract that gives him an extension if he wins a title.

That's not going to happen the way Barcelona is playing...
We will see; there's a long way to go and there's also the Champions League.

You have said you prefer Robben to Messi. Would you not swap them?
Robben is more fun to watch and I wouldn't swap him for Messi. He is a more electrifying player

You will have to plan the next preseason...
That's already arranged. It will be at the same location as the last few years. We are not going to change because I don't think it's necessary.

What about signings for next season. Do you not think that starting to look at these in July will be too late?
[Ironically] Don't worry, all the presidential candidates will come with seven or ten players signed up...

Wouldn't it be better if the elections were in May instead of July?
We have to close the accounts for the year and get them audited; that's how you bring normality to the club and the way it's always been done. We will look at the possible dates, but the election will have to take place after the accounts have been closed.

What things do you want to fix at the AGM?
I would like there to be a new discussion point to amend the postal voting rules.

Will Real Madrid appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport about Lass and Huntelaar?
Yes, because every socio would demand that we do everything in our power to defend Real Madrid's interests.

Will there be repercussions over the signing of these two players?
First we'll have to determine who's to blame. There is a commission to analyse everything that's happened. They were two players we were very interested in and it was also easier to sign them at this time. The fact that only one of them can play in the Champions League is not as important as the fact that they have signed five year contracts.

Will Mijatovic keep his job?
Pedja knows a lot about football. At this point we don't need to either buy or sell any players. He is a former player of Real Madrid and he can be helpful. Whether he stays or not also depends on him.

What will his job be until the election?
Leave everything in order for those who will come afterwards and to help ensure there is peace until then.

Will you be involved in trying to sign Cristiano Ronaldo? I assume you will reply that that is up to the sporting director...
Exactly. Real Madrid is working on a number of things that will have to be concluded.

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