MADRID, July 11 (Reuters) - Florentino Perez will
remain in charge of Real Madrid for at least another four years after he claimed
a crushing landslide victory in Sunday's presidential election.
The 57-year-old head of one of Spain's largest
construction companies gained the support of 94.25 percent of the 30,151 club
members who cast their votes for the three candidates standing in the election
to ensure himself of a second term as president.
Former president Lorenzo Sanz polled just 4.05
percent of the votes and the third candidate Arturo Baldasano gained 1.7 percent.
Perez polled 55 percent of the votes cast when
he defeated Sanz in July 2000.
Overall 47.56 percent of the 65,197 members who
were entitled to vote took part in the election, a lower turn out than the last
"The voice of the Real Madrid members has been
expressed clearly and emphatically," Perez told supporters at his electoral
headquarters after the results were announced.
"Today Real Madrid has won and the future has
won. I know what challenges I face after this victory and I take on this
responsibility in the knowledge that the only limits of Real Madrid are the
dreams of it members."
The victory was a resounding endorsement of
Perez's four-year reign in charge of one of Europe's most powerful football
Real members clearly decided that despite the
team's disappointments on the pitch last season during which they failed to win
a trophy for the first time in five years, Perez was still the best man to lead
Although his rivals argued that Real is still
heavily in debt, Perez said he had solved the club's financial problems as a
result of the sale of its city-centre training ground and improved marketing.
He also made much of his ability to bring the
leading names in world football such as Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and David
Beckham to Real during his first term in charge at the club.
So far he has made no promises about which
players he might sign, but he has said he has been negotiating with European
champions Porto to bring in defender Ricardo Carvalho and midfielder Costinha.
He has, however, pledged to continue recruiting
the world's top players to the club and has hinted that he will try and sign
another "galactico" before the start of next season.
Off the pitch, Perez's election programme
included plans for the construction of a $36 million retractable roof for the
club's Bernabeu stadium and the completion of a state-of-the-art training
facility close to Madrid's Barajas airport.