Real Madrid’s financial position has improved, allowing the club to retain its economic independence, according to club president Florentino Perez.

“We want Real Madrid to remain a club that belongs to everyone,” Perez told a meeting of the club’s members on Sunday.

“But in order to compete with clubs that have owners who give them all the money they want we have to adopt an economic model that will give us enough income to cover all our outgoings.

“Our aim is to be a universal club and that means attracting more fans from around the world to make us stronger. Real Madrid is not obsessed with economic results alone, but our economic stability will guarantee our freedom in the future.”

Perez said that the club’s ordinary income had increased by almost 17 percent in the 2004-2005 season and was expected to rise by another nine percent in the current campaign.

Almost 45 percent of income was generated by marketing by the club’s commercial department helping the club to record a profdit of €6m last season.

“The accounts demonstrate the economic transformation that this club has undergone since the year 2000,” said Perez.

“Our economic power and the position of solvency in which we find ourselves has allowed us to make big improvements in our infrastructure and also sign some of the biggest names in football.”

According to the Real Madrid accounts, the club has spent some €500m on new players since Perez took over the club five years ago, with salaries accounting for some €800m.

The huge outlay was largely financed by the sale of the club’s city centre training ground to the Madrid local government for €480m.

Real have also spent €127m on improvements to its Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Although the performance off the pitch has not been matched by success on it, Perez said he was confident the club would soon return to winning ways.

“Our present squad is stronger and more balanced than before and is anxious to win trophies again,” he said.

“We’ve got a spectacular team and we are going to be up there fighting to win everything.”