Ok. There has been a lot rumours circulating Real Madrid in the past few days. Some people are trying to malign Real Madrid’s reputation as the best club in the world of football. Alex Ferguson (I don’t call him Sir) is one of them and other (I believe) is most probably Florentino Perez (or the other candidates running for the presidential campaign in a few years time).
Initially it was suggested that Ramon Calderon was using the clubs assets for his own needs (and WANTS) and some newspapers actually gave some interesting numbers. That news obviously did not go down well do the Madrid faithful.
Fans and players alike, demanded explanation from Calderon and so Ramon Calderon held a press conference in which he cleared everything up.
Here is what he said in the conference.
“Thank you all for coming to this press conference in which, regrettably, the President of Real Madrid has to face very serious accusations from the media. I say they are serious because they refer to facts that are false and of a criminal nature that attempt against my honour and that of Real Madrid. I don’t know who came up with all this, but whoever they are I regard them as criminals who didn’t hesitate to access, manipulate and make inappropriate use of private bank accounts. The police has been notified and soon very unpleasant surprises will be made public.”
“I don’t know who the authors of such lies are, but I do know who those who collaborated with them are. They happen to be two media platforms I greatly admire and that have done very important things for this country’s democracy. They are Cadena COPE radio station, who broadcast this information through a nightly programme, and El Mundo newspaper, who published it this morning.”
“The information published by El Mundo is even worse because those who were responsible for it know it’s false and of a criminal nature. Not only did they fail to check their information properly -which is the least every journalist is expected to do-, but they already knew by 20:30 yesterday that it was false. Both the Club’s Executive Financial Director and myself told the newspaper yesterday, but they published it anyway, probably because truth sometimes destroys what was at first a good story. They knew the expenses that were published with the article were taken from my daughter Leticia’s personal account. I am very sorry this had to happen. Their impudence is such that they didn’t even check their information with Banco Gallego or the Club.”
“Everything I will present to you here is compiled in a dossier with all the information relevant to this issue. None of the expenses published in the article were paid by Real Madrid. None. None of those expenses were made by me; most come from my daughter Leticia’s private account. The Banco Gallego credit card mentioned belongs to me and hasn’t been used in the two years I’ve had it. I simply can’t understand why media platforms as serious as these could divulge such information. I have always been a strong supporter of freedom of speech and, as a lawyer, I have represented many journalists from different media on several occasions, always defending that freedom of speech is one of the essential pillars that sustain a democratic state. But freedom of speech has no room for insult, lies and criminal actions. I’m sorry to have to be here this evening, but the situation is so serious that I just couldn’t stand by.”
“Besides knowing I am not a scoundrel who benefits from Real Madrid and that I have never made any personal payments through the Club, a headline has been used to make society believe this is true. I will not tolerate it. This is no doubt a further step in a wave of false accusations that has simply gone too far. These people have accessed and manipulated private accounts. They used someone to manipulate the credit card number and to make it seem it was I who used it. This has gone too far and I don’t think it has anything to do with coincidence. Is the forthcoming General Assembly the reason behind this attempt to make me look like a dishonourable person? Do these people perhaps happen to believe that they won’t be able to get rid of me any other way now that the Club has had the greatest benefits in its entire history? Do these excellent figures and results make those who thought we would eventually crumble nervous? I don’t know, but if they read what they’ve said and gone ahead and published it they probably do. The truth is that things like this motivate me even more. In fact, a calm atmosphere would have greater effect than this in dropping my morale. You will always find me here, standing strong against criminal and mafia-like actions. We will not back down.”
“We’ve reported this to the police and their investigations so far are very positive. We’ve also demanded of those media platforms to respect our rights and rectify; the law gives every citizen accused of imprecise information the right to expect rectification. We hope this happens because everything said here has been perfectly documented in the dossiers that have been handed out. We’ve filed a police report against the violation of private data protection. My daughter has seen how her expenses have been criminally published related to a wholly different matter. We aren’t going to remain still in the face of this and people who despise truth and their own profession. I’ve talked to many of their colleagues and they are allashamedof what’s happened. True professionals never publish something they know is false. I am hurt by the fact that it’s been published in El Mundo because I’ve been one of its readers for many years and I greatly respect what it’s done for Spanish society.”
“I am going to be much tougher from now on. I’ve made the mistake of being somewhat passive to accusations like these, believing they would stop some day, but this seems to be far from happening. It has been happening systematically for the last couple of years. I’ve been brave if nothing else in this life. Nobody is going to make me hide away. I will not let anybody get away with this. I never thought there could be people that would go as low as to access, falsify and use private data against me. I want to thank you all for being here and I apologise for my harsh words, but it is very painful to wake up one day and read things like this; it makes one sick to his stomach.”
“There are those who say I haven’t paid any taxes in the last four years, but I have here with me the documents that prove that I have. Some people have done a crummy cut and paste job to try to discredit me. This is very minor compared to the information regarding the credit cards, but I also wished to shed some light on the matter.”
“I’ve been accused of ‘curious’ things, like spending money at Vale do Lobo on the 15th and 18th of the month the team was there, when I arrived and left on the 16th and 17th, respectively. According to the article, I have expenses in Irdning from days I wasn’t there. This is so false that it is unnecessary to say anything else on the matter. I want Club Members to know what’s happening. I may make mistakes, but not things like this. My personal code of conduct prevents it.”
After the press conference, the Club handed out a dossier with the following documents:
1. A copy of the police report filed by Ramón Calderón at Chamartín Police Station.
2. A document requesting El Mundo to rectify, appealing to every citizen’s right to expect rectification.
3. A document requesting Cadena COPE to rectify, appealing to every citizen’s right to expect rectification.
4. A certificate from the Club’s Executive Financial Director, José Ángel Sánchez, denying the existence of the expenses mentioned.
5. A certificate from the Club’s Financial Subdirector General, Julio Esquerdeiro, denying the existence of the expenses mentioned.
6. A certificate from Banco Español de Crédito confirming the false nature of the data publsihed and broadcast by El Mundo and Cadena COPE. The expenses mentioned do not correspond to any Real Madrid credit cards.
7. A certificate from Banco Gallego S.A. confirming the false nature of the data published and broadcast by El Mundo and Cadena COPE. Thereisnocreditcardfromsaidbank