Who Actually Owns Real Madrid? (Explained)

A lot of questions have been thrown up in the air when it comes to the real owner of Real Madrid Football Club. With an estimated worth of $5.1 billion, Real Madrid is the world’s most valuable football team. They have won a record 14 UEFA Champions League titles and hold 35 La Liga championships.

As of March 2023, Real Madrid holds the remarkable distinction of being the first club across Europe’s top five leagues to have won 100 trophies in all competitions.

Despite all of these successes, some fans wonder who could be the actual owner of the team. Is Real Madrid funded by a royal family? Is the team privately owned? Or Is it owned by fans? Or even owned by the government?

However, In this post, you will learn everything about the real owners of Real Madrid Football Club. Let’s clear the air.

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Who Actually Owns Real Madrid Football Club?

Unlike many European clubs, Real Madrid’s ownership lies in the hands of its members, known as socios. Real Madrid’s ownership model is based on the concept of socios, who are essentially the club’s shareholders.

These socios play a fundamental role in decision-making processes, including the election of the club’s president and the board of directors.

As true stakeholders, socios have the power to shape the future of Real Madrid through their participation and voting rights in key matters that affect the club. The socios are individuals who have acquired shares in the club, thus granting them membership and a say in the club’s affairs.

This membership structure ensures that Real Madrid remains closely tied to its fan base and allows socios to actively participate in the club’s governance.

From important strategic decisions to selecting the club’s leadership, the socios have a direct impact on the direction and trajectory of Real Madrid.

Membership as a socio comes with a range of privileges and benefits. Socios have access to voting in the club’s presidential elections, where they choose the individual who will lead the club and make critical decisions on behalf of its members.

Additionally, socios often enjoy exclusive ticketing opportunities, preferential treatment for matches, and various club-related perks, fostering a sense of belonging and engagement among the members. The socio-hierarchy within Real Madrid is based on shareholding.

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The more shares an individual possesses, the higher their status and influence within the club. This hierarchy creates a system where certain socios hold greater sway over decision-making processes due to their larger shareholdings.

However, it’s important to note that each socio, regardless of their shareholding, has the right to voice their opinions and vote on key matters, ensuring a degree of democratic representation within the club.

Real Madrid’s ownership model, with its emphasis on socios and their active involvement in the club’s affairs, has been a defining characteristic of the institution throughout its history.

This unique structure has helped foster a strong sense of identity and loyalty among the fans, making them true stakeholders in the club’s success.

The Role Of The Real Madrid President

Many fans have mistaken the president to own the club, in fact, they believe Real Madrid’s current president, Florentino Pérez is the real owner of the team. The president of Real Madrid holds the highest-ranking position within the club.

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They are responsible for setting the vision and goals, representing Real Madrid in official capacities, and leading negotiations with stakeholders, sponsors, and other clubs.

The president acts as the face of the club and shoulders the ultimate responsibility for its performance on and off the field. One of the key areas where the president uses their influence is in decision-making regarding player transfers.

Real Madrid has a long-standing reputation for attracting some of the world’s top talents, and you can never deny the influence of the president.

From identifying potential signings to negotiating contracts and securing transfers, the president holds sway in strengthening the team. In addition to player transfers, the president also plays a central role in managerial appointments.

They have the authority to hire and fire coaches, determining the direction of the team. The president’s decision in selecting a manager can have far-reaching consequences for the club’s performance and success.

Real Madrid operates on a budget, and the president runs the club’s financial strategy, ensuring sustainable growth and responsible management of resources.

They work closely with the board of directors and other key stakeholders to make financial decisions that impact the club’s long-term stability. Over the years, Real Madrid has seen the leadership of several presidents who have left a good mark on the club’s history.

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Santiago Bernabéu, the president from 1943 to 1978, saw a golden era in Real Madrid’s history, recording great success domestically and in Europe.

Florentino Pérez, in his multiple spells as president, helped the Galácticos policy and saw the acquisition of star players that moved Real Madrid to new heights.

Vicente Calderón, although primarily associated with Atlético Madrid, played some role in promoting the rivalry between Real Madrid, and Atlético Madrid. That said, these presidents have not only contributed to Real Madrid’s success but also left a lasting impact on the club’s identity and traditions.

Real Madrid Ownership Structure

To become a socio, individuals must acquire shares in the club. The ownership hierarchy is based on shareholding, where socios with a higher number of shares hold more influence within the club.

The shares are not publicly traded, making them exclusive to Real Madrid’s socios. This ownership model ensures that the club remains closely connected to its fan base. The socios have voting rights in club matters, such as presidential elections and key policy decisions.

The election of the club’s president is a significant event, as it determines the individual who will lead Real Madrid and make crucial decisions on behalf of the socios.

This democratic process allows socios to actively participate in the club’s governance and have a direct impact on its direction. In addition to the socios, Real Madrid also has influential shareholders who hold significant stakes in the club.

These shareholders may include prominent individuals, corporations, or even other football clubs. While they may not have the same voting rights as socio, their investment and involvement in Real Madrid contribute to the club’s financial strength.

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Real Madrid’s ownership structure has remained relatively consistent throughout its history. The club’s commitment to socios and the democratic principles of ownership has helped establish a strong bond between the club and its supporters.

Is Real Madrid Private?

Real Madrid is structured as a private club, meaning it is owned and operated by its members, known as socios, rather than by external investors or shareholders.

This private ownership model ensures that the socios retain control over the club’s affairs and have the ultimate say in making decisions.

As a nonprofit organization, Real Madrid’s primary objective is not to generate profits for shareholders but to serve the interests of its members and promote the sport of football.

This nonprofit status allows Real Madrid to focus on its core mission and reinvest any surplus funds back into the club’s operations, infrastructure, and community initiatives. The private and nonprofit nature of Real Madrid grants the club a level of independence, allowing it to make decisions in the best interest of its members and fans.


In a nutshell, Socios owned Real Madrid Football Club. Unlike many clubs owned by individuals or corporations, Real Madrid remains firmly in the hands of its socios, who have the power to influence key decisions through voting rights.