Florentino Perez 'planned to move Real Madrid from the Bernabeu to a theme park', a new book has revealed with the failure of the move 'setting in motion the club chief's ambitious Super League plans'
- The Real Madrid chief began to act on the plans around the 2017-18 campaign
- Florentino Perez realised the need for more revenue to keep up with other clubs
- Failure of the plan is said to have set in motion attempted Super League heist
- Revelations come from a new book on the modern era named 'Messi vs Ronaldo'
New revelations have come to light claiming that Florentino Perez wanted to move Real Madrid a club-themed theme park before the plans failed and the Bernabeu underwent significant renovations.
Named RealMadridLand, the plans were set in motion by Perez in the 2017-18 season with the powerful club chief reportedly meeting with Disney executives over his ambitious plans.
The claims come from a new book named 'Messi vs Ronaldo', by Jonathan Clegg and Joshua Robinson.
With Perez growing increasingly concerned about Real Madrid's capacity to keep up with state-owned clubs such as Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City, he set about finding innovative revenue streams that could maintain the club's global dominance.
Clegg and Robinson write that the plans had reached such an advance stage that Perez had even begun to draw up plans for a Zinedine Zidane-themed rollercoaster, based on his volley in the 2002 Champions League final at Hampden Park.
Disney's long-time CEO Michael Eisner had met with Perez over the plans with the Real Madrid chief keen to consult with experts in the field.
Florentino Perez sought to move Real Madrid to a club-themed theme park in 2017-18
Sources quoted within the book claim Perez waved away concerns of rival clubs being able to view training with the club's base pencilled in for the centre of the theme park. 'People see all that stuff anyway,' he is believed to have said.
Having initially discussed such plans all the way back in 2004, Perez sought to get the wheels in motion by inviting the Disney executives to the club boardroom to move forward.
'In our world, we are as big as Disney,' Perez said, according to one of the book’s sources who had been present. 'Real Madrid must do things like this because we are the number-one club, and the only way we will remain there is by always being the first big innovator.'
The club chief met with Disney executives over the plans as he sought to get the wheels in motion over 'RealMadridLand'
The revelations appear to suggest that it was something that Eisner and others felt could be done, and successfully at that, but the plans collapsed as a result of a shortage of money.
Eisner and those working with him soon realised that the £1.2bn budgeted for the sprawling plans, the first of their kind in the sport, was not enough. It is said that a further £900m was required for Perez's dream to be realised. Having spent three months looking at the plans, the Disney chief returned to Perez with a list of concerns.
Included within these were concerns about the location of the training base and that the 130-acre site marked for the theme park was not big enough.
The plans collapsed as a result of a number of factors - not least money - leading the club to renovate the Bernabeu
Disney's concerns led to Perez taking his plans elsewhere.
In the context of recent years, the plans could have had a grave and long-lasting impact on the sport.
Perez's failure to build RealMadridLand, and thus his missing out on a new revenue stream to keep up with PSG and City, meant that he had to turn his attention elsewhere.
His almost zealot stance over the need for a Super League and the restructuring of European football makes sense in the context of the theme park failure.
Renovations of the iconic stadium took place instead at likely a fraction of the overall cost of the theme park
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