Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Calderón hangs on... just

Ramón Calderón has managed to survive the 24 hours following the initial allegations of vote fixing at last month's AGM by Marca.

Late last night he gave a radio interview in which he denied any knowledge or collusion with any voting irregularities, and indicated that he was "tired" of the constant attacks and might not seek re-election to a second term.

In what is now starting to look like an orchestrated campaign, Marca today published the names and photographs of ten people at the AGM who were either socios with no voting rights, or not Real Madrid socios at all. In a cruel twist, one of them turned out to be a socio of local rival Atlético de Madrid!

Where yesterday it was the director in charge of the membership, Luis Bárcena, who read a brief statement announcing an investigation, today the president himself called a press conference and faced questions for over an hour, accompanied by his entire Board of Directors.

In a performance worthy of Richard Nixon during Watergate, Calderón fired the aforementioned Bárcena as ultimately responsible for the organisation of the AGM, but, more interestingly, he also fired another club employee who admitted responsibility, one Mariano Rodríguez Barutell, also known as Nanín.

Nanín was part of Calderón's election campaign and has been linked with serious irregularities during that campaign (though nothing has been proved) and was instrumental in getting the postal vote annulled by a judge. Most observers agree that had the postal vote stood (though it was probably corrupted), Calderón would not have won the election.

Ramón Calderón once again rejected calls for his resignation or for new elections, saying they were not necessary and that an investigative commission would be set up to determine what happened during the AGM. He also said that he would look for the AGM to be repeated, but that this was legally not a decision that the Board of Directors could take.


Anonymous said...

This is atrocious!

Anonymous said...

Aside from the jokes that Marca didn´t receive the best quality jamón in their Christmas box, this really does seem a calculated move from a stalwart pro Madrid paper, would I be right in thinking Florentino is pulling strings in the background somewhere? I think it is a lose lose scenario for Calderón, if he genuinely didn´t know about these dubious goings on, then he obviously wasn´t running a tight enough ship.
We have discussed the topic of ´democratically´ elected boards v rich oligarchs before so I won´t cover old ground here. To be elected president though you do have to have a healthy bank balance which I presume is to avoid people accepting bribes and-or profiteering from the position, but it makes you think that the type of person who has such huge sums of money in the first place, particularly where property development in Spain is concerned didn´t get where they are today without some skulduggery in their pasts.

Gonzalo said...

I think tarring all wealthy Spanish entrepreneurs in Spain with the same brush is unfair. However, it is fair to say that the presidency of a football club (and you can't get much bigger than Real Madrid) seems to attract people of more than dubious character.

How much, though, is this due to the vast majority of the members being easily swayed by promises of bringing this or that player. It makes one despair of democracy in general...