Cristiano Ronaldo's €1bn release clause was 'not there to be paid' - Real Madrid president
Cristiano Ronaldo's €1 billion release clause in his Real Madrid contract was "not there to be paid," according to club president Florentino Perez, who insisted the European champions "got the highest value we could" when he was sold to Juventus in the summer.
Ronaldo moved to Italy for €100 million after nine years at Real Madrid and Perez said that, when it was clear the Portugal captain wanted to leave, Madrid negotiated the best price for him.
"The release clauses are not there to be paid," Perez said. "If there has to be sale, it's negotiated.
"We did not want to sell him, but he wanted to go for personal reasons and we understood that, for all the good things he had done, we had to open the door for him. We got the highest value we could."
Madrid insert high-value release clauses into their players' contract in an effort to fend off potential suitors and as a symbol of just how much they value their players. Isco, for example, has a €700m release clause in his contract and Luka Modric a €750m fee in his.
Perez was speaking about topics that would likely be mentioned at the upcoming Extraordinary Meeting with Real Madrid shareholders and socios. The subject of remodelling work on the Santiago Bernabeu will be the main point of the meeting called by Perez as he tried to get get approval for putting the club into debt.
Initially, in 2014, Perez had said the remodelling work would cost €400m but now puts that figure at €525m.
"In 2014, when we thought there would be no problems with the specific plan, we announced that it would cost €400m," Perez said. "The new structure, including the removal of the two towers on the Castellana, has increased the cost but will improve the urban environment..."
Real Madrid had a financing plan that would see club sponsors IPIC take up the stadium naming rights but the investment firm pulled out, which Perez does not believe to be lawful.
"We don't believe that they can do that and it has been reported to the International Court of Arbitration in Paris," he said.
The possibility, at the moment, is that the naming rights won't be sold but Perez says things could change "if circumstances change and we cannot compete with other clubs whose owners are countries."
Socios have called for a referendum on putting the club into €525m debt as they believe it will upset the sporting ambitions of club as transfer prices rises and they fear Real Madrid will fall behind other teams in the transfer market.
The socios who have called for the referendum also want the issue voted on due to sentimental issues with their stadium, economic issues surrounding it and on a practical level.