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Real president Martin under pressure to call elections

Written by: Staff
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MADRID, Apr 25 (Reuters) Real Madrid president Fernando Martin faces a test of strength tomorrow when he will try to stave off calls for an early election at his first full board meeting since succeeding Florentino Perez.

Martin took charge when Perez stepped down after nearly six years at the helm at the end of February.

But he has faced mounting pressure to call a presidential election from inside and outside the club in recent weeks, although the club statutes give him a mandate until 2008.

Early into his presidency Martin promised to appoint a new coach by the end of March and named a seven-man target list.

Although no announcement has been made Spanish media have put AC Milan's Carlo Ancelotti at the top of that list, with England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as a possible back-up option.

Dissident director Ramon Calderon said last week the board had not been informed of any progress and backed the call for elections.

Real, third in the Primera Liga, will end the campaign without a trophy for the third successive season, their worst run in over 50 years.

Reuthers PM BST1841

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