A sideways look at Spanish football
One of the many unjustified reasons for much of the Spanish football press not liking the cut of Manuel Pellegrini’s gib during his year as Real Madrid manager was that he was considered rather dull. The Chilean’s pre and post match press conferences would be sparsely attended, uneventful affairs, free from the referee-blaming, Barça-insulting, shrugging and pouting that every one has so grown to love in the José 'Porque!' Mourinho era.
But when the wrinkly manager does stick his head above the parapet, people tend to listen, and that’s what has happened when the Málaga coach spoke during the club’s tour of Venezuela, announcing that he’s not exactly happy with the goings on his club at present. He explained that he was particularly irked by the reported problems paying the current players' wages, paying off the remaining installments on the transfer fees of players they already have, and paying for the players they'll need for a potential Champions League campaign.
“We are all waiting for Abdullah Ghubn (Málaga vice-president) or an envoy to come and try to sort out in the institutions in a lot of aspects,” grumbled Pellegrini at a conference on Thursday. “Too much time has passed, there are a lot of problems that need fixing, and a lot of things that need creating and improving.”
Another angry bee buzzing around the Málaga man’s bonnet is the transfer speculation concerning Santi Cazorla, with Arsenal poking about in the hull of the club to see if it’s a sinking ship. “Selling Cazorla for €20m would be a give-away. I don’t think that the club has any intention of selling him. It would be disrespecting the intention to play in the Champions League.”
Although Sheikh Al-Thani has protested through Twitter that stories regarding Málaga’s cash flow problems are merely the result of a jealous press in Madrid or plain, old racism against Arab owners, this outburst from a normally extremely political figure such as Manuel Pellegrini simply can’t be ignored.
This comes on top of the resignation in May of Sporting Director Fernando Hierro, who said that he was 'very uncomfortable’ with some aspects of the club’s running. It doesn’t take a lot to guess that this is the financial side with another of claims from clubs saying that money is still owed for the likes of Nacho Monreal, Isco and Cazorla, on top of the footballers themselves moaning that wages are owed.
Pellegrini looks like getting what he wanted, with Sheikh Al Thani sending a representative in the form of Moayad Shatat to the city - preferably with a well-stocked cheque book - to resolve all these problems, as well as the €3.5m that is now due to former Málaga owner, Fernando Sanz, from the sale of the club two years ago. But it may be a little late in the day for as AS note “a lot of issues to fix but little time before the league and Champions League begin.”
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