A sideways look at Spanish football
If the legal defense of “but it’s not fair!” was a valid argument then La Liga Loca would never have had to flee England so swiftly after that Waitrose cheese-rage incident. The blog may even have gotten its yacht back. Stupid judges.
And Mallorca would have been taking part in this year’s Europa League competition instead of being turfed out personally by UEFA boss Michel Platini - if you were to believe some aspects of the Spanish press anyway - for going into administration over the summer.
For a fair few seasons now the Balearic club had been teetering on the edge of financial oblivion like Cristiano Ronaldo contemplating an ill-advised fling (of the edge-of-the-box variety, of course), but they finally hurled themselves into the pit of doom at the end of the last campaign - a campaign that was one of the club’s best ever with Mallorca finishing the year in fifth, but so very nearly in the Champions League places.
However, UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body has said that rules are rules and decreed that Mallorca do not fit their admissions criteria due to the whole administration issue. As a statute it is a completely fair one that has the aim of persuading clubs to attempt to live within their means - a half-hearted attempt anyway - and to not let them gain an advantage over other clubs by purchasing that striker they can’t really afford or flipping the bird to everyone they owe money to (Athletic Bilbao and Aritz Aduriz, in Mallorca's case).
Ironically, Mallorca managed their fifth-placed finish having barely spent a penny and owed their success due to astonishing home form, the brilliance of former manager Gregorio Manzano and the general incompetence of nearly every other side in la Primera last season. Instead, Mallorca has been appallingly run for years now, suffering boardroom change after boardroom change.
Despite the UEFA regulations being fairly clear, Mallorca are spitting mad about the decision and have launched a formal appeal to UEFA, organised a march by supporters to the HQ of the Balearic FA with a big banner - not that they have anything to do with the matter, really - as well as penned a letter to Platini asking that UEFA change their decision, something that’s never going to happen in a billion years.
Mallorca’s only defense is that the decision isn’t fair and it fundamentally reflects how seriously UEFA take clubs going into administration, especially compared to the laissez-faire “What’s a bankruptcy between friends?” attitude in Spanish football, which doesn't have a penalty points system to punish the naughtiest of teams and merrily allows clubs to screw each other over by failing to keep up with transfer payments.
The island club’s other ‘waffer-thin’ argument is that Mallorca is now under different management after a recent buy-out lead by Mallorca-born former Barça coach, Serra Ferrer, and should be treated differently. However the side are still going through Spain’s equivalent of an administration process and are currently unable to sign any players despite money having been received from the sale of Aduriz to Valencia.
Marca have joined big-armed Mallorca fan Rafa Nadal - nephew of Miguel Angel, a member of the new consortium - to complain about UEFA’s stance, with the paper’s editorial crying that “it’s like denying help to someone who is about to drown.” Which it isn’t. At all.
The campaign continues Spanish football’s feeling that UEFA - and by extension the interchangeable FIFA - are out to get the game in Spain by handing Atlético Madrid a one-match closed-doors stadium ban two years ago in the Champions League and by failing to award the national side enough penalties during the World Cup.
This attitude happily ignores UEFA constantly turning a blind eye to outrageous tapping-up attempts by certain sides in la Primera, not to mention allowing the financial basket case of Valencia into this season's Champions League.
However, La Liga Loca applauds UEFA’s decision - but in a sympathetic way. The blog is not totally without heart.
Someone has had to put at least one of this irresponsible band of Spanish clubs, populated by the likes of Deportivo, over their knee to warn others that acting like economic buffoons has consequences. UEFA have shown Mallorca that whilst they can do whatever the heck they want in their own backyard, if they want to go play with everyone else, then they need to learn how to behave properly.
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And yet I can't see our own team denied access to the Champions League despite the admission that FCB are skint.
Oh and then there is the matter of Manchester United who allegedly have severe debts, Rangers who are in severe debt, Milan who are pretty skint, and run by a politician...which is a bit iffy tbh.
In other words, Mallorca may be well justified in pointing to various other discrepancies by other teams competing in UEFA competition.
But you are correct, they are right to be denied access to Europe League this season.
This was tough luck on Mallorca, but all Villarreal fans have enjoyed the news, we also pinched their best player Borja Valero, a steal at 5 million. With Barca sniffing around a finished Marcos Senna he should step up!
@Don, that's what i said on Monday.Let's see when it happens to a really big club.
Nice post ,Tim.
It just seems like they are kicking in the small team. I've always been in favour of draconian rules in matters financial, even if Barça and Rangers, the two clubs I love would be royally rogered over them... so what, we are big boys we can take it!
Hell! Valladolid went down, and they have at least managed to balance the books!
Like Paul says, it just ain't going to happen though.
I still think its wrong. If the club were going into administration, wouldnt the gate revenue from extra europa-league fixtures actually aid the financial quagmire? Having said that, I'm no economist so I dont even know if thats a plausible arguement.
However, I am quite the conspiracy enthusiast.. and i'm going to go with the: Villareal creates a better viewership opportunity so Who the hell are Mallorca theory?
The MAN has spoken, and you cant beat the MAN, man! Now where did I stash my chronic?
Does anyone else think that the latest Real Madrid signing, Sami Khedira, looks like Ali G? :)
Khedira looks like Milan Baros. Post-witness relocation.
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