Organised by the club’s main ultra supporter faction – ADRV – preparations are in place for a protest at the Estadio Teresa Rivero on Tuesday night with those that work at the club, including players, invited to attend. Stretching back to financial problems under their previous ownership, fans are angered as Madrid’s third club are facing further uncertainty under their latest President.
In February 2011, the club’s majority shareholder Jose Maria Ruiz-Mateos filed for voluntary administration with debts at €22m and an annual budget of €18m, with a majority of the money owed being unpaid income tax. Ruiz-Mateos was also under investigation for how he used club funds raised through shirt sponsorship. Fans regularly protested at games and demonstrated outside the stadium, directing their anger at Ruiz-Mateos’ wife – Teresa Rivero – who was club President, whilst players spoke of being owed money from as far back as the 2009-10 campaign.
These off-the-field struggles fell in sharp contrast with the team’s on-pitch progress that eventually led to their return to the Spanish top flight after a eight-year absence, for what will be their 13th season in the Primera Division.
As the team secured that promotion, the month of May saw the club change hands with Madrid businessman Raul Martin Presa purchasing a majority 98.6% of the club’s shares, ending Ruiz-Mateos family’s 20-year affiliation with the club. The 36-year-old Rayo fan arrived with the promise of ensuring the focus for his fellow supporters would be on the team’s football, rather than their business situation.
The new club President immediately distributed funds among the club’s staff, promising to pay money owed to players in instalments and committed to servicing the debt with monthly payments of €95,000. However, in meetings since taking over, Martin Presa has more than once hinted at instigating a Spanish employment law – Expediente de Regulaci