Real Madrid debt spirals to

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Real Madrid have announced a net debt of ?296m, alongside a record annual budget of ?381m for the new season.

The club's annual figures include ?226m spent on four players: Xabi Alonso, Kaka, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Real's debt last year was around ?100m.

Their budget is some ?20m greater than that of arch-rivals Barcelona, whose ?361m budget is also a club record.

The announcement comes after Uefa approved plans to force clubs to spend only what they can earn in revenue.

Uefa chief Michel Platini has long urged measures to ensure clubs live within their means and those plans, to be introduced from the start of the 2012/13 season, have the approval of the European Club Association, which represents Europe's clubs.

Uefa believes the inflated transfer fees and wages which make up football's current "volatile" economic model cannot be sustained.

Debts in the hundreds of millions of pounds, such as the figure announced by Real, are considered a prime example of the problem.

With that in mind, Real president Florentino Perez told the club's general assembly that its debts would be cut by just over ?180m by June 2010, thanks to a 14% increase in revenue on last season.

"We're going through a delicate moment with the world financial crisis but we had to make a big effort for the new arrivals of players, which explains the debt," Perez said.

At last year's general assembly, the club had outlined similar plans for a ?70m reduction in debt.

Perez revealed the club's wage bill represented 45% of its expenditure, and announced modernisation projects for the Santiago Bernabeu stadium as well as a theme park in Madrid.

All items voted on at the assembly were passed, including the ratification of credit arrangements with two banks, Caja Madrid and Banco de Santander.

On a separate note, Perez admitted to those present that he "had not made the right decision" when quitting the presidency in 2006, only to regain control earlier this year.

Real's opponents on the same day as the assembly were Xerez, a club lying bottom of the table with an annual budget of just ?8m - less than the salaries of Ronaldo or Kaka.


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Starting to think the Real accountant is about to file an insurance claim for something absurd, and then fade from the public eye...

Seriously, this is stupid. With the current financial world climate, you still get instances like this where people frivolously spend money they don't have.

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