On the 24th of April fans of Atlético Madrid have planned protests against the Gil family and club president Enrique Cerezo, who together own 95 per cent of the club’s shares.
The demonstrations are to be held with the purpose of forcing out the men who, as a court ruling from 2004 stated, owe large sums of money to the club. The initiators want Atleti to be given back to the fans, who haven’t had a voice since Jesús Gil y Gil turned the club into a Sociedad Ánonima Deportiva, a special Spanish form of a joint-stock company. As they say, Atlético went from being a fans’ club to a family company.
Atléticos por el Cambio, which literally translates to ‘Atléticos for Change,’ is the group pushing for the protests. The organisation is composed of Rojiblanco supporters who have had to stand by and watch their club incur huge amounts of debt and go through hundreds of players and coaches in the past years. Recent European successes haven’t been able to mask the poor financial condition Atleti is in and the fans want to make it clear that they’ve had enough.
Supporters have pinned their hopes on Gabriel Camuñas, who represents a group of investors that plans to make a take-over bid. In 2006 and 2009 Camuñas’ name already rang out throughout Madrid as a potential buyer, but Miguel Ángel Gil and Cerezo weren’t willing to sell.
In the build up to 24 April, Atléticos por el Cambio ask everyone who supports their cause to sign the petition on their website. Over 14,800 people have already signed.
We expect pressure on our board to rise as the day comes closer and we’ll keep you informed about the latest developments. We’re awaiting a response from the directors on the issue, but so far all they have done is to let the protests coincide with the Día del Niño, a special day for all young fans of the club ahead of our league match with Levante.