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As Bankia fails, Real Madrid is teetering on the edge of the abyss

By Tony Attwood

The finances of Real Madrid are fairly sound.  If the full-blown FFP were up and running now, Real Madrid would be ok.  They are nothing like Man City, Chelsea, PSG etc.

Real Madrid owe money, but not too much compared with their turnover.  So in normal times they won’t fail.   But these are not normal times.

Because Real Madrid’s bank is in the most serious trouble.  As is the country.  (As I drove to my office this morning I heard the comment on the radio that Spain’s economy is too big to be allowed to fail, but is also too big to rescue.  That seems to sum it up).

As a result of this situation the normal roles are reversed.   According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of the most widely read newspapers in Germany, and one that speaks with a certain authority, the most expensive footballer in history [C Ronaldo] may now be used to guarantee the solvency of a Spanish bank.

Or put another way: “Ronaldo in the bailout fund,” as SZ’s headline said.

The problem is that the Bankia group of savings banks, which finance Real Madrid’s endless acquisition policy, is now needing to borrow funds from the European Central Bank.   And the ECB (rather taken up with Greece at the moment) want guarantees.  So (and I am serious here, this is not a Billy the Dog make believe story) Bankia are said to be offering Real Madrid players as part of the guarantee.  Not surprisingly, the ECB is not that impressed.

SZ then asked if the ECB could seize the players if Bankia totally insolvent.  In theory they could, and as a result Real Madrid would default on the rest of its loans, secured in themselves by money from advertising, TV and the gate receipts.   Given that the constitution of Real Madrid forbids the president of the club and others from personally financing the club, that would be the end.

Now the reason that this sort of thing has not happened before is that in Spain the clubs have often obtained bailouts from public funds – rather like the banks in the UK.   As the Sevilla vice-president recently said, “There are six or seven of the 20 clubs in La Liga who are in bankruptcy or administration through difficulties with social security and the tax authorities.”  That’s six or seven Rangers and Portsmouths, all playing in the top league in Spain.

Florentino Pérez, top dog at Real Madrid, has maintained the club’s finances and currently the club has a debt of about £150m.   From David Beckham onwards the trick has been the same, merchandising, ownership of their own TV rights, and always coming in the top two in a two team league.

The system works because of the Spanish tax system which means that football leagues in other countries have to pay up to 70% more in wages to match the take home pay of players in Spain.

So there’s a system – Real Madrid borrow money, get players pleased to get extra income and less tax, and sell shirts, their own TV rights and the rest.    And behind it as always is a bank – Bankia – which has failed to the tune of €19bn in the sort of crazed situation that (as the Financial Times said this week), “always brings down banks.”

Looking at Greece we might also say that it also brings down countries.  Who knows which way Greece will go, but one way or another their tax system has to be reformed.  Which is what has got to happen in Spain.  Which is another reason why Real Madrid, and the whole of Spanish football, is under threat.  They have benefited from being able to take players who will go anywhere and have the players pay very little tax.  And that is about to end.

Bankia is going through the same sort of disaster scenario as the one that hit the savings and loans industry in the US (something that cost $100bn to sort out, according to the FT).

It is the old issue of banks throwing money at property developers.  That is what has been happening in Spain, and as always it results in a crisis.  Since so much of Spain’s economy has been based on this approach the crisis is large.

So if you want to get a grip on Spain’s problem and Bankia’s problem – and therefore Real Madrid’s problems – just think about Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in the USA – and then add in the question of the interest rates and the unemployment rate.

In the last few days the cost of borrowing money in Spain has gone up and up, until now (at approaching 7% on the 10 year bonds last time I looked) the banks are in a position where they can’t raise any more money.  (If you want to put it in perspective try this – if you had £10,000 in your bank account in the UK earning an interest rate so tiny you can hardly see it, you might be tempted by 7% in Spain.  And then you might wonder if you will get your money back – so you don’t do it.  That’s it in a nutshell.)

Spain’s economy is shrinking (1.8% this year) and unemployment is at an eye-watering 25%.  So Spain has to reform.  But it has to do this with banks that are now bust – just as the Royal Bank of Scotland in the UK was when it took over Liverpool FC.

Which takes us back to Real Madrid.  It is solvent, but its bank isn’t and nor is the country in which it exists.  Real Madrid is solvent because it uses the very low income tax rates to attract players.  If that goes, or if it can’t find a bank to finance it, or if the whole economy goes Greek, Real Madrid has to restructure at an enormous speed, and the days of the purchasing of the world’s most expensive players will be over.

But so ingrained is this approach to Real Madrid, that it is difficult to see what the club will morph into.

We wait, and watch.

———————

Ref Review: Man U 1 Fulham 0.  Oh for goodness sake.

All the players who will join us next season

Uefa, Scotland, Italy, Fifa, England – football enters an era of total crisis

Untold Ref Review: Sunderland 1 Liverpool 0

A best loved and iconic brand – Match of the Day

Who plays whom in next season’s Champions League

 

76 comments to As Bankia fails, Real Madrid is teetering on the edge of the abyss

  • nayan

    return OF capital > return ON capital

  • muttley

    Very interesting and different article. Nice work.

  • James

    If Real Madrid fall, can Barcelona be far behind?

  • Fred

    What a fabulous, informative, a bit humorous and all round well-written article! Really enjoyed that, and felt I learned something as well. Well done!

    The Spanish clubs have been getting away with murder for quite a long time, loading it on the overall Spanish economy, and the ‘chickens are coming home to roost’ as someone famously said!

    What is almost equally unfathomable, is that the British press (and media in general) have not examined this at any depth – they basically just swallowed the whole childish excitement about the “Spanish Giants who no player can say ‘no’ to”.

    So good on you to get in behind curtains and expose what has really been going on!

  • bob

    The new financial bailout system will be the old feudalism: Turn the players into serfs and the clubs into manors and no more salaries; just room and board and lifetime protection from being poached by other clubs. The players whose contracts have multiple owners may become properties (not people) over which wars are fought. Far-fetched? Who will conquer Ronaldo? Messi? Cesc Fabregas? A whole new meaning to “Star Wars” 🙂

  • bob

    p.s. In other words, some Stars (the super-stars) will be too big to be paid. (Bendtner should then consider himself lucky.)

  • marcus

    WOW!

    Does the European Charter Of Human Rights stipulate that being an employee does not allow an employer to view you as goods as chattels?

    RVP should think twice about leaving Arsenal. Join Real Madrid and he could end up with an iron yoke around his neck.

  • TheSKAGooner

    Well, it took a little longer than I expected. But this is almost the exact scenario I laid out for readers of this most august blog about 2 years ago. Spain will fail. The banks will fail. And as soon as Spain takes 1 Euro from the ECB/IMF to help with the economy, out the door goes the financial largesse to the football clubs.

    The ECB/IMF don’t give a toss about football. They care about having Spain under their collective thumbs for as long as possible and to extract as much money and pain from the economy as they can get away with. It won’t get worse before it gets better because neither the IMF nor the ECB has any real interest in it getting better for Spain (or Greece, or Italy, or Portugal, or Ireland).

    Ronaldo as collateral? Well, I guess he could make coffee for them or something when the IMF collects that debt.

  • bob

    …and, of course, the fabled “Galacticos” will, indeed, dwell somewhere in another galaxy of science fiction…

  • bob

    TheSKAGooner,
    After he makes coffee for them, Messi can go out and do Gladiator Football. And the watchword of the new era of Player Revolt will become “I am Spartacus!” 🙂

  • mystic

    I assume that Barca must be in a similar position as Real? The Catalonia region has appealed for assistace from the central government and I’m guessing their banking system must be straining as well – think I’m right in saying that it is a Catalonia Bank that is partially bank-rolling Barca?

  • bob

    marcus,
    They already do view them as chattel. The question is: can they USE them as chattel? (Just a bad yoke, sorry :))

  • ATAF

    intresting article, maybe la liga needs a shake up!

  • ziggy

    and so will even the oil rich clubs because circulation in the system reduces Worldwide the bottomless pit of cash develops a bottom and priorities change I.e their profit making businesses will have to take precedence over their toys and as Monsuier Wenger predicted the collapse will take a full swing. The spend the fucking money it doesn’t belong to you brigade will then just realise he was right all along

  • bob

    ziggy,
    And lo (or is it low?), LeGrove (blog-pusher of financial doping) will thenceforth be referred to as LeGrovel. (that’s one silver lining)

  • Family Enclosure Man

    Thanks for article. I’ve been thinking for 2 yrs now that this was going to happen to the big Spanish clubs. Add FFP regulation into the equation – assuming that it can be enforced – and suddenly the whole scenario changes. Chelsea and City can enjoy their day in the sun: they just squeezed their big successes in before a new reality hits. In Five years from now European football will be dominated by the TRULY financially viable clubs – big German sides and Arsenal. Roll on…

  • bob

    Family Enclosure Man,
    As you can appreciate, the other side of football, of course, is real life, for those without a family enclosure 🙂

  • Jitty

    How is Real teetering on the abyss?

    As long as they continue to service their debt they are fine

  • Fed_up

    The Euro really is teetering on the edge of collapse. It may be that the Greeks are quietly shown the door and the rest of the EMU muddle through, but a full on collapse is looking more likely. Gooners need to bear this in mind when demanding that Wenger makes big money signings. The market is about to be saturated with top players from Spain, Italy and Portugal – transfer fees and player wages will drop dramatically. It would be foolish to pay top dollar for players now, only to see their value plummet within weeks.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh no Tony and Fed_up, this is all too difficult for some of us. We want it NOW!!!! 😉

    Great article and some great comments also. Wenger said that there was a big crisis going to hit us a while ago. You better watch out because I think it is standing in front of the door right now. Don’t open when the doorbell rings…. In Greece and Spain they did open the door…

  • nicky

    “IF THE FFP RULES WERE UP AND RUNNING”. How important are those words. I read elsewhere today the most gloomy forecast over the implementation of the Rules.
    With the euro in trouble, the economic downturn gathering pace and football’s legislative bodies in various stages of mire, it is difficult to see the immediate future of football.
    Once upon a time one could rely on football to ease the day to day problems of a nation. Those of us of a certain age will recall the benefit of watching football as a release of tension and worry during WW2.
    If the sport fails, for whatever reason, we have a problem
    (much worse then Houston).

  • Fed_up

    “How is Real teetering on the abyss?
    As long as they continue to service their debt they are fine”

    I would say that if Spain exits the Euro then there is no way that Real could service their debt. Real have a number repayment schedules for players (have they even finished paying for Ronaldo?). Those repayments are denominated in Euro’s, if they have to exit the Euro and adopt, for instance, the Peso (which will be worth a fraction of a Euro) all their income will now be virtually valueless Pesos. Do they now pay their payment schedules in Pesos (can’t see the recipients of those repayments swallowing that) or do they buy Euros (imagine 1 Euro = 100 Pesos) to repay their debt (in which case they are stuffed!).

  • Alzation

    @Jitty

    If Spain seeks a bailout from the ECB, a new tax system will be imposed on them. Real Madrid pay their players net of tax, so any increase in taxation will be borne by the club. On top of that, interest rates will increase.

    All in all, Reals costs might well go up by as much as 50%, while at the same time their incomes will probably reduce as there will be a dramatic decrease in living standards throughout the country

  • Fed_up

    …have Barca still got outstanding payments to the Gunners? I bet they have…so let’s not hope for a Euro collapse just yet. Wenger must insist on payment in full, up front for any player being sold to Spain (Bendtner?) or Italy (Walcott?)

  • Jitty: Real Madrid have a problem because

    a) their bank is in trouble, and if their bank goes, I am not sure another bank could service their debt
    b) one of the main reasons through which they have attracted top players is that they have to pay them less than in other countries because the players pay very little tax. That is likely to end
    c) if the Spain economy goes like the Greek economy then their homeland sales of shirts, tickets etc will decline as the economy compacts
    d) as they then try to unload players they will find themselves offering players in a market in which other countries are also trying to unload players at low prices – forcing prices down even more.

    Two years ago Barca got stuck in a corner and could not pay their players for one month. This time round for both Barca and Real Mad it will be more difficult, and without their friendly bank, they will have difficulties.

  • One thing:

    Messi apparently earns around £750,000 a week. Just imagine how he will feel if he has to start paying proper tax on that.

  • ak47

    cant come soon enough.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    I know this might be treason to some fans (AAA) but if arsenal continue on their current financial plan and keep retaining CL entrances then in 3 years time we will be the healthiest club in the EPL and even in Europe providing us with unparalleld strength in the transfer market.

  • Don’t be silly Tony – trofies r all dat matter 2 footballerz init!!11!?

  • I dont have the data to had “Fed Up” but I know that Arsenal had real trouble getting the £25m out of Real Mad for the Anelka transfer and had to threaten all sorts of things.

    But Real Mad’s transfer policy has often been “buy now think later”. Remember Diarra who played for us for a week or two. Went to Portsmouth and on to Real Mad I think… they sold him for a fraction of what they paid.

  • Scott

    And people actually complain aout how Arsenal is run…..incredible.

  • bob

    This may Oik me, but if Barca stiffs us on remaining payments for x-Cesc, it will only add to the swamp of silence that has continued to surround that sub-market level deal. Someone will have a very interesting book to their credit when/if the facts of it emerge; and hopefully AFC is being extremely proactive, rather than forgiving of collecting what’s due us (and in Euros).

  • Ong Bing

    Oh my God!

    If Real and Barca crash, Malaga will be champion!

  • Bob why on earth would anyone oik you for that?

  • I reckon Bob doth protest too much – he secretly wants an Oik.

    @Tony, We should have an award system for those really great comments we get from time to time – the ones that make you wish that they had padded them out and submitted them as an article in their own right?

  • Matt Clarke

    Very interesting and erudite – thank you.

    I do feel, however, that the predictions are not gloomy enough.

    Anyone ever seen a house of cards fall?

  • idolx

    Not only will Real and B*rca have no fincancial backing with their loans being called in the media deals will dry up as the tv stations wouldn’t be able to afford to sponsor them anymore.

    The last time Real was in financial difficulties they sold their training ground. What can they sell now?

  • bob

    Why my Oik fears? I dunno, Tony, but it’s about how much the x-Cesc deal still festers and rankles me; and I feel that AFC have never acknowledged that it was a major fuck-up and why it was. In a capsule: I think that some entity (singular or plural) at AFC were complicit or co-responsible for a very bad deal – a sub-market deal in unloading x-Cesc for south of 30m, which has had both known and not yet known knock-on damages. I feel that Barca should have been officially slated by us for blatantly tapping. I feel that Arsene should either have stood by or been allowed to stand by his refusal to sell, which become a 50M or no deal ask, then a 40M or no deal ask, until it became nothing until it turned to be a bad return at a time, it seems from the outside, we could have used every penny of it to make purchases
    commensurate with the loss of his talent. We could have played tougher with him – with his traitorous chronic back games – and his nasty playmates who used our facilities whilst in London before their match, even as they were tapping him up. Also I fear that Barca’s payout schedule may not be over; and may yet fall prey to Spain’s economic implosion. And I would have liked to see RVP and Cesc to have played together this season (like wishing Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis would have played together before Jimi prematurely exited the stage). And I still hope, in fact ask (and not respectfully)what made that deal happen the way it did with that result. The too is a significant part of AFC history; and that said, I think it’s owed to caring supporters (albeit when the facts will not be grist for the AAA poison plot). Indeed, I would like someone at AFC to be straight enough to explain it; because that will never come from Cesc, or Dein the Lesser, or Barca. I do have hopes that, at some stage, perhaps after his retirement, Arsene – who I don’t feel was in sync with the final decision to settle for that result – will tell his version and what went on. Perhaps Silent Stan has a story to tell. And anyone else in a position to know. I also think that except for Walter’s (to me) most welcome calling Cesc’s actions a betrayal, that UA has not (at least yet, and maybe I missed it) given this a full airing or exerted any pressure, to the extent that its position might matter or not, toward asking for a fuller disclosure from AFC of what happened. Perhaps I missed it. Perhaps there’ll be a better time (no doubt). In any case, there’s more to say, but I’ll stop here for now.

  • bob

    DogFace,
    Actually, what I secretly want is one of your pirate faces that I could freely use to apply retroactively to Dark Prince, and Rhyss D., and any utterance made by Micky R or Don Fungus or Septic Bladder or The Dean or any other member of the Rogue’s Gallery.

  • Wooby

    @Bob, I hear you and would like to explore even more details into our dealings with Farca in the recent past.

    I read last summer one of the sticking points re: the Cesc transfer was Farca’s lack of payment for the Hleb deal. Does anyone know if that was another piece of bad reporting or if there is an actual hint of truth in that?

    What about Henry’s deal? Have we been receiving the payments due from his transfer?

    @Tony, great work. It has been fascinating how professional sport teams seem to have been unaffected by what goes on in their respective countries. You mentioned the financial meltdown in the US, yet it has not hurt the American football teams who has signed huge TV contracts. I wonder how the situation in Greece will affect their professional football league/teams. At what point will everyday citizens and fans finally have to give up their season tickets and purchasing of merchandise because their income is too low? All the more reason for us to stand behind our club who will still be standing when others have fallen.

  • El Gringo

    @bob or anyone else who happens to know

    What are the rules about tapping up? Who makes them, who enforces them, and who brings charges when they are broken?

    Are there any recent examples of actions successfully brought against the tappers up?

    Enlighten me; I am benighted.

  • bob

    El Gringo,
    With Many Thanks to Matt Clarke, here’s a tidbit on Cashley/Dark One from his wikipedia link for all to see:
    “Notorious examples of tapping up in the Premier League include Dwight Yorke and Ashley Cole. In these cases, the incidents soured the relationship between the player and his original club. Cole was found guilty and fined £100,000 by the Premier League on 2 June 2005 for a meeting in a hotel in January 2005 between himself, the Chelsea manager José Mourinho, Chelsea chief executive, Peter Kenyon, and his agent Jonathan Barnett.”

  • Mandy Dodd

    Spains taxes will go through the roof if their ecomony does anything like a Greece. Wenger (of course amongst many others) has been warning of the effects on football of the Eurozone going belly up for some time now

  • El Gringo

    Thanks Matt Clarke and bob.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the relevant authorities would actually do their job and punish infractions here? Then maybe a contract would mean something. Blatant tapping-up happens every transfer window (at least against Arsenal, courtesy of ManC and Farcelona). Which raises a question: is there any anti-Arsenal collusion between the FA and UEFA? We’re getting it from both sides as regards refs and unenforced legislation. Is there a common denominator?

  • El Gringo

    And bob, maybe if you cut your complaint in half, caps lock half of that, use a few profanities, take away your evidence, treat your assertions as unassailable fact, and say something awful about Tony, you can get an oik. But I’ve read enough of what you say to doubt that you have it in you!

  • Ugandan Goon

    Thanks for the article, Tony.
    This ‘victory’ would be sweeter if i wasn’t certain that odious prick Mourinho wont go down with his sinking ship! he had a lot to say about our Mr. Wenger in the past that still rankles.

  • Ugandan Goon

    Please forgive my little outburst, i called Mr Mourinho a prick, for which i heartily apologise, what i had in mind was whore or gigolo.

  • Ugandan Goon

    Just thought i’d share this example of what can happen when a club relies too much on merchandising based on expectations of what could happen in the future, without trying keep one foot planted in reality.
    http://shop.tottenhamhotspur.com/product/spurs-champions-league-logo-mugimg-src=3for2btn-jpg/45514/

  • Ugandan Goon

    great for use at home or for starting banter at work. ha!

  • Matt Clarke

    Are there awards for laughs given?
    UG and EG should be in contention if there are 😀

  • Shard

    Ugandan Goon

    The link you put there about the Spurs is even funnier now because compared to yesterday, there have been some changes, with poor spurs trying to hide their mistake. It now says 2010/11 and says sold out..which it didn’t yesterday. It’s like they want us to keep laughing at them.

    http://www.kumb.com/story.php?id=126276

  • SouthernGunner

    re: Barca

    Seem to remember Arsenal having to wait an aweful long time in getting paid for the Hleb & Henry transfers. So the signs of potential financial struggles have been around for a while.

    Clubs need to start being sensible with money.

  • Shard I do think this is one of the funniest of all times, and thanks to you and Ugandan Goon for picking up on it. It is as funny as the day the Times did a report on a youngester from Eastern Europe about to sign for Arsenal, and put him in the top 100 young prospects list. They had been utterly conned.

  • Fed_up

    @Tony
    The timing of the article is eerily prescient – Bankia (Real’s bank) have just announced that they have requested a bailout from the Spanish government. Trouble is, they need 23.5 BILLION(!) euros, and there is only 5 Billion in the government rescue pot – A team full of Ronaldo’s will not be enough collateral here. Bankia are effectively insolvent, either they go to the wall, taking Real Madrid with them, or they are nationalised and the government will have no option but to call in the Real Madrid loans…which they have NO WAY of paying, although it seems that nationalisation is not an option, due to Spanish government finances.

    The Catalonia region is also requesting urgent government funding….

  • Ugandan Goon

    @Tony and Shard,
    the Tottenham fc online shop, the gift that keeps giving …. to gooners!

  • chris from Cambridge

    Very interesting….. and what about Barcelona somebody ??

  • Matt Clarke

    I’m <>almost<> tempted to buy one of those St Totteringham’s Day mugs and box it on the wall 😀

  • Matt Clarke

    sorry for the italics – forgot to turn them off 🙁

  • Mandy Dodd

    The situation in Spain worries me, it needs sorting, if things get too bad, history teaches us some look for someone to blame,there is always the potential of a return to the Barca Real rivalry of 1936, sure it will not come to that after all these years of peace, but a concern nonetheless

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    1936: That would be the year that the Spanish Civil War started. Were Barca/Catalonia and Real/Madrid in any emblems of the respective combatants? Did the politics enter the football and vise versa? There must be something of that amazing time being played out on the pitch, dontcha think?

  • bob

    El Gringo,
    Thanks, much appreciated! Having one of those daze full of simultaneous insight (incite) and bags of doubt.

  • bob

    Fed_up,
    Or the government will say that Surreal Madread and Farca are part of the national patrimony, are hence too significant to fail, and slip the bill to the Spanish people. It’s quite scary in non-football (hence real) terms.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Certainly was Bob. I am not an expert on the matter, but the two cities were strongholds of opposing forces, and the symbolism remained. However, I suspect as with all civil wars, the reality could be a little more blurred, would need someone better qualified than me perhaps to comment on that!

  • Goona Gal

    @ Tony – great article.

  • Pat

    I know a song called Halt Stand Rotes Madrid – Hold Out Red Madrid – from the Spanish Civil War. Madrid held out heroically against Franco’s forces which only managed to enter the city at the end of the civil war in April 1939.

  • merkin

    The situation in Spain, like Greece and I fear Portugal, Italy and Ireland will be the same. The governments have run deficits which they financed by taking out loans from primarily German banks. The Germans are insisting that the governments pay off the loans by raising their taxes and lowering their spending, enforcing austerity on the countries. But when the governments do this, run a budget surplus taking money out of the economy, the countries go further into recession, lowering tax revenue further and increasing spending for things like unemployment insurance and the dole. This means that in spite of the increased taxes and lowered spending the governments run even higher deficits and are less able to pay off the loans. Then the Germans will insist on even higher taxes and lower spending, starting the cycle all over again.

    What is needed is for the ECB to pump money into these economies to break the recession before they have to pay off the loans.

    The total joke of the whole affair is that the idea behind enforcing austerity on the country is to break its wage structure to the point that the country has an advantage in foreign trade, they become so competitive because of the lower wages that they run a positive trade balance and can use those euros to pay down their loans. The reason that this is such a joke is that 80% of the foreign trade conducted by EU countries is with other EU countries. Obviously not everyone can maintain a positive trade balance, every euro of positive trade by one country means that another country has an euro of negative trade balance. It is a zero sum game, positives must be balanced by negatives somewhere else.

  • Johan

    Real will not fail, they are 1 of the top 5 clubs in the world. FIFA/UEFA will not let it happen. Money will be found. There is too much at stake in Asia/Middle East for them to fail.

  • Adam

    @Merkin, I’d hoped the German’s would have pulled put of the euro by now. I have read that they are printing the deutschemark. With the German’s being such huge exporters what chance do other EU nations stand of findind a balance. My question to you is, would the euro be devalued to a sustainable level if the German’s did reinstate the mark?

  • Ugandan Goon

    @Johan,
    IF any agency other than private individuals finds a pot of cash/credit for real, the other clubs like the six cited by the sevilla president would mount a legal challenge for this relief too, and then the flood gates would open because almost all the other clubs are trying to survive in the same basket case of an economy.

  • Jitty

    @ Tony

    ‘Jitty: Real Madrid have a problem because

    a) their bank is in trouble, and if their bank goes, I am not sure another bank could service their debt’

    The bank does not ‘service’ the debt – Real does.

    If bankia collapse – the Real debt is an asset that they own. Provided Real continue to pay what is a quite manageable number, they are not effected by the collapse of Bankia at all.

    Its like if your bank collapsed while your mortgage was outstanding.

    Provided you keep paying – no big deal.

  • Jitty

    @ Fed_up

    ‘A team full of Ronaldo’s will not be enough collateral here. Bankia are effectively insolvent, either they go to the wall, taking Real Madrid with them’,

    Security can only be called in event of default. Have real given security? have they defaulted?

    You are making some wild leaps of imagination here.

    ‘the government will have no option but to call in the Real Madrid loans…which they have NO WAY of paying, although it seems that nationalisation is not an option, due to Spanish government finances.’

    1. Do they have the power to call in the loans if Real are not in default? You might want to check that.

    2. Real have a very easy way to pay – its called RE-FI

  • bob

    Tony, all,
    In light of what Jitty brings up here, is Real actually on the precipice?

  • Scott

    Reals issue will be getting some other bank to keep throwing cash at them and allowing them to drift farther into debt.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Mandy…..the Catalans are a separate culture,tradition and people than the Galitcos Spanish in Madrid, as are the Astorians (Celtic Spaniards who still speak a continental version of Gaelic)and play the bagpipes, wear kilts and share other Celtic traditions with the Irish and Scots.
    At the start of the Spanish Civil War, the Republican government wanted to recognize the Basques,Astorians and the Catalans (among others) as autonomous peoples in a multi-cultural Spain but the Fascist Army, aided by the Establishment Catholic church, the Crown, the wealthy social hierarchy and the German and Italian Nazi Party began a putsch to overthrow the democratically elected Republicans. To make a long story short,after over 500,000 deaths, the Fascists under Franco took control and kept the country under a military dictatorship until 1975. The Basques,and Catalans have NEVER forgotten or forgiven the Fascists and the Church for their treachery and incitement of millions of deaths before,during and after the war. Even today in Barcelona, many Catalans refuse to speak Spanish in business, on the streets and in everyday life. It is this historical rivalry that is non-violently expressed in LaLiga every time a Catalan or Basque team plays Los Galaticos.
    Excuse the spelling as I get confused at times with history!