Real take out £24.5m loan to cover loss of Beckham

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The Independent Online

Real Madrid, the world's richest club, has been forced to take out a loan of €30m (£24.5m) to cover day-to-day costs, according to newspaper reports in Spain. And part of the reason for their financial struggles is down to David Beckham's departure.

Beckham's transfer to LA Galaxy is estimated by one study to have cost Real between €35m (£28.5m) and €45m (£37m) in annual revenue and has helped leave a considerable hole in their finances. Club directors have been asked to raise more money because the amount provided by the bank might not be enough.

Real would not comment on the report, saying its last financial statement was published in September.

The club reportedly asked La Caixa, Spain's third largest bank, for the loan. It is the first loan Real have asked for since the presidencies of Ramon Mendoza and Lorenzo Sanz between 1985 and 2000, the report said.

In February, financial consultants Deloitte released a study listing Real as the world's wealthiest club last season. The study said it had €351m (£288m) in revenue in the 12 months to 30 June 2007, up 20 per cent from the same period in the previous season.

When Ramon Calderon was elected club president in July 2006, he said the club was in good financial condition. He then spent millions bringing in new players, and the team won La Liga last season.

In June, Calderon said Madrid was still in good financial health, with its income almost evenly divided between ticket and concession sales, television deals and marketing.

But with the departure of Beckham to the United States in July, Real lost up to €45m in annual revenue, according to a study by the Barcelona-based International University of Catalonia.

Real had to pay an undisclosed amount to rescind the contract with former coach Fabio Capello, now in charge of England, who had reportedly been the highest paid coach in the club's history.

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