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Like Rosell, Perez must pay for Real Madrid transfer ban

What will Florentino Perez say now? Real Madrid released a statement to proclaim its innocence after the club was hit with a transfer ban earlier on Thursday, but it is yet another embarrassment in a long line of catastophes for the club chief in recent months. Surely, it is now time for a change.

Perez is already under pressure. The construction magnate dismissed popular coach Carlo Ancelotti over the summer, even though most of the players and fans wanted the Italian to stay, and replaced him with Rafa Benitez - an appointment that never looked likely to succeed and one that lasted only seven months.

Chants of "Florentino, resign" were heard often towards the end of Rafa's reign, starting in the disastrous defeat at home to Barcelona in late November, when Madrid lost 4-0 to its biggest rival at the Santiago Bernabeu. And more followed after the Copa del Rey elimination when Real was punished for fielding the suspended Denis Cheryshev against Cadiz.

That was inexplicable and inexcusable. That the world's richest club did not notice one of its players should have been banned is something that simply should not happen. Just like the botched signing of David de Gea in the summer, when paperwork was sent late and the transfer deadline closed before the Spain shot-stopper could complete his move from Manchester United.



FULL STORY | Madrid and Atletico handed transfer bans

In true Florentino fashion, he has blamed everyone else. When the De Gea deal failed, he pointed the finger at United; when the cup exit was confirmed, it was the fault of Villarreal (where Cheryshev spent last season on loan) and of the Spanish Football Federation because neither notified Real; and when Benitez was ratified after the Clasico, he claimed the decline had started under Ancelotti.

There is always somebody else to accuse, somebody to blame, someone to take the rap. However, the excuses are now wearing desperately thin - and most madridistas are starting to see through the conspiracies of their once-admired club chief. Florentino is the boy who cried wolf; nobody believes him any more.

When Barcelona was banned from transfers in April of 2014, Real rejoiced. En route to winning the Champions League and the Copa del Rey under Ancelotti, Los Blancos seemed set for a period of dominance and were happy to see their eternal enemy dragged through the mud.

What they should have ensured, however, was that their own house was in order. Quite clearly, however, it was not and 21 months later, they have been hit with an identical sanction. And just like last January when the investigation into irregularities in the recruitment of their youth players first came to light, they have pleaded innocence again. It's the same old story.







Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu survived after the Catalans' transfer ban was announced, but his predecessor Sandro Rosell resigned three months earlier following a series of scandals involving the club's alleged fiscal fraud and manipulation of figures in the deal to sign Neymar from Santos.

It was the correct call. Rosell's reputation was at an all-time low and his position of leader of a supposedly pure project had become untenable. The club was in turmoil and something had to be done. So while his actions were far from the values the Blaugrana have preached in recent years, at least he did one honourable thing and fell on his sword.

After this latest fiasco, so too should Florentino. The 68-year-old has lost all credibility as Madrid's leader and this transfer ban may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Because Perez is running out of excuses - and the time has come for Real to find a new man to take the club forward.

Don't hold your breath, though.