Florentino Walking on Thin Ice

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Florentino Perez

Florentino Pérez is not facing his best moment as chairman of Real Madrid. The businessman is going through a difficult season, and there have even been chants at Santiago Bernabeu asking him to leave the club. The man that according to Forbes magazine has made Real Madrid the wealthiest football club on earth has reasons to be worried about his situation.

Football pundits consider Florentino as one of the best chairman Madrid has had in all its history. He was the one that brought together the Real of the “galácticos” joining players like Beckham, Zidane, Ronaldo and, of course, Raúl.  However things are not working out as well as he would have expected, and Pérez is most probably going through the toughest moment since he returned to the club back in 2009.

When José Mourinho concluded his adventure at Real, he left behind a club entirely divided between people that supported the Portuguese coach and people that obviously didn’t. That division led to part of the fans blaming the chairperson for both the negative atmosphere at the club and the poor results. Things seemed to calm down at the Spanish Capital when they won their tenth Champions League title, but it was just an illusion.

A new project started this season with Rafa Benítez taking charge of the team, but things rapidly began to go wrong for Florentino. A significant portion of the Spanish press blamed him for all the bad things happenings in the Capital especially after a bid to sign Manchester United’s goalkeeper David de Gea fell apart.

The Madrid administration blamed United for the failed transfer, but some people didn’t agree. In addition to that, a very shaky start to the season, with the team not playing good football, ended up with a considerable part of Santiago Bernabeu asking Pérez to leave especially after the painful 0-4 defeat against arch rivals FC Barcelona.

The latest negative thing to happen involving Madrid is probably one of the most humiliating ones in the club’s recent history, and the one that could harm Florentino the most. Real could face disqualification from the Copa del Rey after fielding an ineligible player, Denis Cheryshev, in their game against Cádiz. Denis had seen three yellow cards last season in the Copa when he was on loan at Villareal, which calls for one match suspension.  However, it seems no one at Real was aware of this situation and Benítez included the Russian player in the starting line-up. Cheryshev scored the opener of the clash, but he was replaced at the start of the second half when Madrid was finally conscious of the irregularity.

No one at the club has taken the responsibility of this shameful incident and, as it has been common lately, fans and media are looking towards Florentino Pérez. In normal circumstances, the chairman wouldn’t be the man to blame for such kind of affairs, but people seem to have lost their patience, and the Pérez is once again is in the line of fire. Now the question is whether Florentino will have enough credit left to continue at the helm of affairs at the club if Real are disqualified from the competition and continue with their irregularities in La Liga.

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