Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has unexpectedly resigned to herald the end of an era at Spain's, and possibly the world's, most famous football club.
An extraordinary meeting of the board on Monday confirmed Perez would go and that Fernando Martin, a club vice-president, would take over the hot seat.
"Real Madrid needs change and this is the right moment for me to leave the presidency," Perez said at a press conference. "I am convinced this is the boost the club needs."
His resignation comes after a poor week for the club in losing 2-1 at Real Mallorca on Sunday and then 1-0 at home to Arsenal in the Champions League the previous Tuesday.
He arrived at the helm of the club in July 2000 and heralded the "galactico" era by buying stars such as Portugal's Luis Figo, Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, Brazilian Ronaldo and England captain David Beckham.
Perez added: "There is no crisis at the club. The financial and sporting set-up at the club is good and we are happy at what we have done here in the last six years."
He added he had made his decision on Sunday following the Mallorca defeat saying he suddenly had the conviction that change was needed.
"It was a gesture of loyalty for the good of the club," Perez continued.
During Perez's reign, Madrid won the Spanish league and Spanish Super Cup double in both 2001 and 2003, with a superb 2002 sandwiched in between when Madrid won the European Champions League, the European Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup.
Source: China Daily