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EL CLÁSICO

Why will Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez not attend El Clásico at Camp Nou in Barcelona?

Pérez has made a personal decision not to travel to Camp Nou with Madrid for the first time in 20 years.

Update:
Pérez has made a personal decision not to travel to Camp Nou with Madrid for the first time in 20 years.
REALMADRID.COMDiarioAS

For the first time in 20 years, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez will not attend El Clásico at Camp Nou. Not even the hysteria surrounding the transfer of Luis Figo from Barcelona to Los Blancos, nor the covid-19 pandemic led to him missing a clash between the two teams in Catalonia. But sources close to Barça have revealed to AS that they have received confirmation that Pérez won’t be at today’s game.

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It had been rumoured for several days that the Madrid supremo may opt not to make the trip and, after careful consideration, his final decision appears to have been made: Pérez didn’t get on the flight with other club representatives. Real Madrid have left the door open for their president to change his mind and travel to Barcelona on a private plane this afternoon, although that would appear to be unlikely.

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez and Barcelona counterpart Joan Laporta in happier times.
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Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez and Barcelona counterpart Joan Laporta in happier times. MARISCAL AGENCIA EFEDiarioAS

Barcelona-Real Madrid relations strained by ‘Negreira scandal’

The capital club have tried to stay out of the debate surrounding the ‘Negreira scandal’ as much as possible but, as the legal case progresses, have been forced to take a stance. Last weekend, after almost a month of silence, Real Madrid announced that it would be taking part in the case, as is their right under Spanish law. Days later, and presumably as a result, Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirmed that the board members of the two clubs would not have lunch together, which has become the norm. And now, Pérez is staying at home. Three decisions which each club has taken of their own accord and appears to signal a breakdown in their relationship. What will be next?

The Barcelona sources claim the Catalans are “indifferent” to this latest piece of news, emphasising that the game is what matters, not what goes on in the directors’ box. Yet, considering the clubs involved, it is a big deal: for the first time in 20 years, Pérez will not be at El Clásico at Camp Nou. He didn’t miss the first one after the pandemic, sitting in the directors’ box with a mask on while the stadium was almost empty, with only a limited number of fans allowed in. This season, he missed the trip to Leipzig in the Champions League group stage, but that absence was due to his recovery from lung surgery. Today is different. Today, he has chosen not to go.