Former Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon has claimed that the sacking of Rafa Benitez was purely financial.
Calderon told Talksport that the club had to get rid of Benitez before next Friday or risk having to pay up an extra year’s salary when they fired him – and also claimed that Jose Mourinho turned the job down before it was offered to Zinedine Zidane.
He said: “They have sacked him now because, before January 15, they have to pay him only one year’s salary. After that, it would be two. That’s the truth of why they have made the decision now – and only that.”
He continued, claiming that Mourinho’s rejection meant that the club made the ‘risky’ decision to appoint the unproven Zidane. He said: “The chosen one was Mourinho, but he decided not to come now. He didn’t want to come now. Zidane has come [in as manager] because he was here. I’m quite sure they wanted Mourinho to come now.
“They think it is a risky decision to take Zidane now. I hope he can be as good a coach as he was a player, but he has been coaching a Second Division team for only a year and a half, and [before that] he was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant [at Real Madrid] – that is his only experience.
“It is similar to Gary Neville at Valencia, but in a more difficult situation because Real Madrid is not Valencia, it’s obvious. I think they have chosen Zidane because he was here and he is the only one at this moment who can take the job.”