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Calderon named new president of Real Madrid

Written by: Staff
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MADRID, July 3 (Reuters) Former director Ramon Calderon was named the new president of Real Madrid today the day after claiming a narrow victory in a chaotic election campaign.

''Given the situation created by the election and the existence of a judicial decision that has provisionally suspended the postal vote, the club has decided to name Ramon Calderon as the new president of Real Madrid,'' a club spokesman told a news conference at the Bernabeu.

''The decision was made due to the fact that we are unlikely to have a decision over the legality of the postal vote in the near future and in order to allow the club to function properly and try to build a new era of sporting success.'' Calderon, a 55-year-old lawyer who joined the Real board in 2002 under former president Florentino Perez, gained 246 votes more than rival candidate Juan Palacios and 1,642 more than Juan Miguel Villar Mir.

The other two candidates, former president Lorenzo Sanz and lawyer Arturo Baldasano, trailed well behind in the poll.

Approximately 42 percent of the 66,355 club members who were entitled to vote attended yesterday's poll in person.

A judge provisionally suspended the postal vote on Friday after Calderon and other candidates raised concerns over the lack of guarantees to ensure its legitimacy.

It is not yet clear if the judge will allow the postal votes, which the media estimate could be as many as 10,500, to be counted.

If they are, they could change the result of the election.

Calderon has said he will bring Italian coach Fabio Capello back to take charge of the club he led to the league title in 1997.

He has also pledged to sign Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas and Chelsea winger Arjen Robben to the club and has said he is trying to close a deal to sign AC Milan's Brazil midfielder Kaka.

He has appointed former Real Madrid player Predrag Mijatovic, the Serbia&Montenegro striker who scored the winner in the 1998 Champions League final, as the club's new sporting director.

Calderon is the club's fourth president this year, following in the footsteps of Florentino Perez, Fernando Martin and Luis Gomez-Montejano.

He joined the Real board at the invitation of Perez in January 2002 and remained there when the construction magnate resigned in February this year.

REUTERS PDS VV2149

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