Barcelona have demanded Real Madrid president Florentino Perez's explain the source of the Bernabeu club’s seemingly bottomless pit of cash. With Cristiano Ronaldo's £80 million transfer set to take Real’s summer spending to a whopping £136 million by mid June, questions are already being asked as to how they can afford such vast transfer fees in the current financial climate. Unsurprisingly the first club to publicly criticise Real's mammoth spending spree have been deadly rivals Barcelona, with economic director Xavier Sala-i-Martin, a professor of economics at Columbia University, questioning how a club that has previously admitted to having huge debts can suddenly gain access to the unbelievable sums they are spending. Despite the high profile of Kaka and Ronaldo, Sala-i-Martin does not agree with Perez's view that the signings will ultimately pay for themselves thanks to commercial benefits. Speaking to radio station, RAC1, Sala i Martin commented, "I do not know where the €300 million that Florentino Perez thinks he has for signings actually comes from." "He says he will recoup it by selling replica shirts and so he will have to sell 30 million of them. That is impossible. Someone is going to have give them money and it would be good if he explained it." In a further swipe at the Bernabeu club, Sala-i-Martin claimed that Barcelona would never have to resort to such extreme measures to attain success. He added, "I can assure you that we will not pay €65 million for one player. For that price we could buy the whole team that won the Champions League in Rome."
11 June 2009
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