Mention the name Florentino Perez and the Real Madrid "Galacticos" spring immediately to mind.
The Los Blancos president is synonymous with the grandiose purchases of some of the biggest names in world football.
For Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, read Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham.
It's not a new phenomenon in the white half of Madrid, however the question must be asked...is Perez continuing to harm Real by shoehorning the "next big thing" into the club?
Rodriguez clearly had a fabulous World Cup campaign in Brazil during summer 2014 and was Player of the Tournament by popular opinion, even if the accolade ended up in the hands of Lionel Messi.
But, apart from those games, how many people had heard of the player pre-tournament, or indeed noted the various elements of his game?
Di Maria sale inevitable
In order to fund the purchase, and that of Bayern Munich playmaker Toni Kroos, savings would need to be made elsewhere, and to that end the sale of Angel Di Maria to Manchester United was always going to be a possibility given Perez's refusal to offer the Argentine a well-deserved pay rise.
Don't let it escape your attention that in Di Maria, Real had the player who assisted the most goals in the top five European leagues last season.
And one who was the standout performer in Real's "La Decima" Champions League final win against Atletico Madrid.
He was certainly a player foremost in the thoughts of Carlo Ancelotti, however, as he had done many times before, Perez ignored the wishes of his manager, riding roughshod over any decisions that he and his technical staff had made.
Couple that with a quite bizarre transfer deadline sale of the equally important Xabi Alonso and it's fairly easy to see why those decisions have already taken effect. Real sit six points behind leaders Barcelona after just three games.
Madrid's huge debt
The general consensus of opinion is that Perez hoovers up the world's best talent "because he can."
Well, actually that's the polar opposite of the truth.
Via a report from Dermot Corrigan of ESPN, Spanish football's foremost financial expert, Gay de Liebana, notes:
“Madrid’s debt is, effectively, 541 million euros. That represents 64 percent of its total liabilities. It is a very high debt and there is a problem.
The short-term debt, which is 338 million euros, is higher than its current or liquid assets, which are 239 million. So there is 100 million euro in negative working capital.”
La Decima to decimated
Therefore, not only does Perez authorise unecessary purchases of playing staff, but is doing so against the backdrop of huge debt, potentially running this great bastion of Spanish football into the ground.
From "La Decima" to decimated?
If the equilibrium doesn't return quickly, such a scenario isn't beyond the realms of possibility.
Time to go, Florentino.
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