'Change of direction'
"I decided to call an urgent board meeting today because I believe the club need a change of direction and as a result, I have decided to resign as president of Real Madrid," Pérez said. Madrid's defeat at Mallorca followed their 1-0 home reverse against Arsenal FC in the UEFA Champions League first knockout round first-leg tie.
The 58-year-old construction magnate was elected president by club members in 2000 and was returned to office by a massive majority in July 2004. Pérez was responsible for ridding Madrid of their massive debt by selling their city-centre training ground. However, he will be best remembered for his 'Galácticos' policy which brought in a string of world-class players, such as Luís Figo, Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham.
Madrid won the UEFA Champions League in 2002 as well as Spanish titles in 2001 and 2003, but have not lifted a major trophy since. Pérez said director Fernando Martín was the unanimous choice of the board to take over as the new president.
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