Jose Mourinho had asked for the club to be run using the ‘British’ style of allowing the manager to organise player transfers and other issues, as opposed to the style adopted throughout Europe of having a general manager to deal with such matters, and Florentino Perez confirmed their decision.
"I want to stress how painful the departure of Jorge Valdano is to me. We have travelled a long distance together," he told a press conference.
Valdano played for Madrid as a striker during the 1980s and also coached the first team in the 1990s, winning the Primera Division title in 1994-95. The former Argentina international was the club’s sporting director between 2000 and 2004 during Perez’s first spell as the president, and was appointed the general manager in June 2009.
However, during the course of the 2010-11 campaign Valdano was at loggerheads with coach Jose Mourinho, whose appointment he reportedly opposed last summer.
He also questioned the Portuguese tactician’s decision not to play Karim Benzema during Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Almeria in the league in January.
“I hope Benzema does not stay on the bench for too long," said Valdano at the time. "The situation surrounding him is unfair.”
It has been reported that Mourinho has had a strained relationship with Valdano, but Perez has insisted that the Portuguese manager was not to blame for the departure."Mourinho did not make any demands. He asked for more autonomy in line with how English clubs are organised.
"Everything that we do we do because they are the right decisions that do not take into account personal sentiment.”
Valdano, though, suggested otherwise and said: "If this was a battle, this decision clearly states who is the winner of the fight. I haven’t spoken to him [Mourinho] personally for a long time, but I haven't needed to.
''This club has educated me, taught me a lot. It's always painful to move away from what you want."