Real Madrid in COVID-19 crisis as president Florentino Perez tests positive
There is no doubt Real Madrid has had a tumultuous month. In just a few outings, the Spanish giants have lost the Super Cup, lost the Copa del Rey and perhaps lost La Liga after a devastating loss at the hands of Levante.
The latest setback was Real’s third home defeat of the season, their fourth in the league, handing title rivals Atletico Madrid the initiative to move 10 points clear at the top of the league.
However, Los Blancos’ troubles did not end there.
On Tuesday night, Real Madrid announced that their embattled president, Florentino Perez, has tested positive for COVID-19. The long-term Madrid chief is in a potential vulnerable age group for the deadly virus at the age of 73.
“Real president Florentino Perez has given a positive result in the COVID-19 tests to which he is subjected periodically, although he is not presenting any symptoms,” read a statement.
Perez is the third high-profile individual in Real Madrid that tested positive for the coronavirus. Head coach Zinedine Zidane was diagnosed of COVID-19 last month, while defender Nacho Fernandez was also infected.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already dealt a huge blow to the club’s financial strength. According to a report released in December, Real revealed that the impact of the ongoing pandemic represented a 13-percent reduction in income for the 2019-20 season.
Real project a budget of 617 million euros ($740 million) for 2020-21, about 300 million euros ($360 million) less than what would have been expected without the pandemic.
“In terms of personnel costs, the players and coaches of the Real Madrid football squad, together with the main executives of the different club divisions, have voluntarily agreed to lower their remuneration for this year by 10 percent,” the club added.
On the pitch, Real’s only chance of clinching a trophy this season is winning the Champions League, where they face Italian outfit Atalanta in the last 16.