The camaraderie and warmth between the two clubs is gone. While in recent years, presidents Florentino Pérez and Joan Laporta have maintained very friendly relations over business matters, those are gone and there is open warfare.
The Superliga and the fight over CVC rights was what brought the presidents of the two clubs together. The last two years have seen an unexpected camaraderie and friendliness from both sides.
In addition, Pérez and Laporta have kept a verbal non-aggression agreement, i.e., not to tug of war over players. They had dinner together before each other’s games and watched the game together, as if it were a clash between two friendly clubs instead of two rivals. But that’s gone.
It all started when the Negreira scandal broke over Barcelona’s possible bribery of referees. Real Madrid initially held the position of partner of the Blaugranas and were the only team in the whole of La Liga not to take a stand against Barcelona.
However, when more evidence began to emerge that Barcelona had indeed paid millions of euros to the vice-president of the referees’ commission between 2001 and 2017, Real also spoke up, saying that they felt aggrieved by the case.
And this has angered Laporta to no end. He severed all friendly ties with Real, cancelled the traditional dinner meeting before the last El Clásico and added fuel to the fire on Monday.
In fact, he told a press conference that he didn’t understand how Real Madrid could feel aggrieved, that it was a team that had always been favoured by referees and that it was a regime club.
But he shouldn’t have done that, because it made Florentino Pérez angry – and then it usually doesn’t end well. Real Madrid released a scathing video last night, where it defends itself against Barcelona’s accusations.
It is generally accepted that General Francisco Franco has patronised RM and oppressed Barcelona. But according to the video released by the club, that wasn’t quite the case. “Who was the regime’s club? Camp Nou was inaugurated by Franco’s general minister, José Solís Ruiz” begins the Real video.
“Barcelona awarded a gold and diamond badge to Franco. In 1965, Barcelona named Franco an honorary partner of the club. Barcelona honored Franco three times,” Real continues.
“Barcelona was saved from bankruptcy three times thanks to Franco’s interventions. Meanwhile, Real Madrid is being destroyed in the civil war – players are dying, being arrested and driven away.”
“When I hear that Real was the club of the regime, I want to **** whoever says that,” says Santiago Bernabéu. “So who was the real club of the regime?” the club asks at the end of the video, adding pictures of Barcelona players with their right arms raised.
Source: Real Madrid, Twitter
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