On Wednesday, in Madrid’s Court of General Jurisdiction Nº 51, Judge Almudena Maricalva Arranz will hear the case filed by a group of Real Madrid club members concerning the legality of the changes to the statutes approved by the General Assembly on 30 September 2012. The lawsuit solely concerns the conditions required to become a candidate in the presidential elections. The fundamental changes in the club statutes were the following prerequisites: an increase from 10 to 20 years, uninterrupted as a fully signed-up club member and stricter, exorbitant conditions with regard to the commitment of guarantee deposit, reset at 15% of the total annual budget, which now must be drawn from personal assets (not via third party funds) and be certified by a Spanish financial institution (not a foreign bank). As a result of these changes, only Florentino Pérez was eligible to run for the 2013 elections. Other candidates, such as Vicente Boluda, Eugenio Martínez Bravo and Borja Martínez-Laredo had publicly stated their intentions to present themselves but none of them were able to under the new prerequisites.
Vicente Boluda, who was elected president in 2009, could not run in the 2013 elections because he had not completed 20 years, without interruption, as a paid-up club member. Nor will be he able to put himself forward in the 2017 elections for the same reason – despite being just months away from completing 20 years as a club member. Boluda has been called as a witness by the claimants.
If the judge rules in favour of the claimants, Real Madrid must return to the old statutes and call new elections. Under the 1990 Sports Act, it is stipulated that a commitment of guarantee is only required once a president has already been elected, and is not a compulsory requirement on the part of the candidate; this ensures that more candidates can be involved in the electoral process – as is the case at FC Barcelona where only a specified number of signatures from club members is required to run for the presidency, as was originally the method used at Real Madrid.