Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez called an immediate press conference at the Santiago Bernabéu on Thursday afternoon to deny reports that the Real Madrid captains had told him they would leave the club if José Mourinho stayed on as coach next season.
He said: "In light of the seriousness of this situation, I am breaking my rule of not speaking about the day-to-day activities of the club. It is completely false that in the lunch I had with the club captains and the director general I was given an ultimatum about the coach, or anything of the sort.
"The only outcome of the lunch was that we approved the team bonuses for this season. The meeting took place in a magnificent atmosphere and the captains behaved responsibly. What has been published is not true in any way. I can accept criticism even if it is clearly unfair or if I don't agree with it. I can handle damaging comments. But there are ethical limits that need to be respected by everyone.
"No-one has called me, or anyone else who was present at this lunch, to check the veracity of this false story or get our response. This is very serious. I understand that someone's aim is for someone to leave the club, be it the coach or the president, but I do not think it is ethical to peddle a lie to achieve that.
"This has happened on a number of occasions and today is the last time. I am here to make one thing clear. That story was simple a lie.
"I also want to remind you all that the unity of all the club's members and fans is what has made this club the best in the world and we are the only ones that can decide the future of the club."
The Madrid president took questions from the press following his statement, but reiterated that he did not want to comment on any matter other than to deny the story of the ultimatum.