Atlético president Enrique Cerezo and General Director Miguel Ángel Gil went on the Cadena SER radio programme “El Larguero” yesterday, in a bid to clarify the state of their relationship.
Rumours in the Spanish media earlier this week suggested that there was a “complete rupture” between the pair and that they were not on speaking terms.
Gil explained that the two “always talk” and that he himself asked Cerezo if he wanted to join him on the show.
“The people have to understand that Atlético Madrid is something beyond us personally,” he said.
Friction on how Simao’s extension negotiations took place
Cerezo believed that the speculation about a rift between the directors revolved around his disagreement with the way Simao’s release was handled.
“I thought that we should have done things differently,” said Cerezo. Gil, meanwhile, felt that the contract extension talks stalled with Simao because the winger was upset that “Ujfalusi and Reyes’ contracts had been renewed before his.
“Simao told us that he wanted to go to the Turkish Besiktas and we could not match their offer of three million [euros],” said Gil. “We offered him 2.2 [million euros]. He left with an offer of 2.2 on the table. No one is indispensable, but he’s a great player and has rendered a great service.”
Despite not seeing eye to eye on the handling of Simao’s extension negotiations, the son of former Atleti president Jesus Gil claimed that he and Cerezo “agree upon all decisions made.”
On Kun and Forlan
The interviewer, José Ramón de la Morena, was the Spanish journalist that first claimed Real Madrid plans on paying Sergio Aguero’s release clause this summer. De la Morena stood by his claim, but our General Director was not buying it.
“Aguero had ten months left on his contract and he has renewed for three more years,” said Gil. “The [release clause reduction] resulted from the negotiation. If he didn’t leave now, there’s no reason to think that he will leave in the summer.”
Cerezo opined that “‘El Kun’ should not leave Atletico.” Gil interjected and added that Atlético “have agreed with [Kun] and his agents that he will not go to Madrid, ever.”
With regard to a last minute offer for Forlán by los Blancos during the winter transfer window, Gil said: “I spoke with the General Director of Real Madrid and he asked me to loan him to them. We can’t loan a player of Diego’s stature…to Real Madrid!”
On a possible Fernando Torres return to Atleti
Gil was asked about a possible Fernando Torres return spell with his boyhood club. “Torres, three years from now will have nothing to do in the Premier (League),” he responded jokingly. “Our plan is to have him here to inaugurate our new stadium.”
On ‘La Peineta’ construction plans
Dubbed the “never-starting project” by Spanish paper El País, construction on Atlético’s future stadium has been delayed for over two years since the Madrid Council and club officials signed a relocation agreement in December of 2008.
Gil did not assume any responsibility for the hold-up.
“I don’t set the time frames,” he said. “They are set by the public authorities. The way things are with the contracts and such, we can logically expect work on the project to begin in the month of March.
“Atlético will not be paying for its construction.”
On the possibility of selling shares of the club
Gil and Cerezo are the majority shareholders of Atlético though they, along with the senior Jesus Gil, were convicted by the Spanish Supreme Court of fraudulently acquiring the club.
When asked if he would ever sell off the majority of his shares, Gil said he would consider it “whenever a person appears that has the financial ability to buy them and the willingness to lose their money.”
On what it feels like when most fans yell “get out of the Calderón”
De la Morena did not hold back at all when he asked the directors if they are bothered by the chants during games at the Vicente Calderón of “[expletive], out of the Calderón!” calling for the directing duo to leave Atleti.
Cerezo claimed that he is “so focussed on the games” that he does not “pick up on what happens in the stands.
“I’m interested in the final result,” he said.
Gil meanwhile, said that he is “bothered” by the insults and made up his mind to never go to the stadium. In fact, the General Director made the decision “five years ago” because he was “unable to enjoy the games,” he said. “I have a bad time there.”
What do you think about the directors’ statements?