Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Top line is vanity, lack of trophies is insanity

A week after a report revealed that Real Madrid had become the football club with the biggest turnover, the man who built it all, Florentino Perez, has quit as president.

Having spent $300 m to assemble a team (sorry, collection - they rarely play as a team) of fat, ageing, over the hill, galacticos that will now face a third trophyless year, the penny has finally dropped. This after a five-day period that saw defeats by a reserve Arsenal squad at home in the Champions League and Real Mallorca, 16th in the table and Spain's equivalent of Blackburn Rovers.

The headlines given to the 'richest club' report by all and sundry were insane. Name me one other industry where success is measured by turnover as opposed to profits, free cash flow, return on equity, dividend growth or market share.

'Top line is vanity, bottom line is sanity' is the old business adage and Real Madrid's bottom line is that it is out of the Spanish FA Cup, facing elimination from the Champions League and 10 points behind Barca in La liga.

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