La Liga: From Fantastic To Farcical

Date published: Thursday 8th January 2015 2:03

La Liga: From Fantastic To Farcical

A more charitable opinion would argue that those running the game in Spain know a thing or two about how to inject a bit of spice and drama into their competition; the end of the season was already tingly enough.
Three games to go and the title race is still open, as is the battle for Champions League places with three huge teams trying to squeeze into two small spots. So what better way to keep people’s interests piqued than by by throwing into doubt whether any of these battles are going to be fought?
The reality is that those running the game in Spain are incompetent, self-aggrandising, vain, egotistical, loathsome, inept, buffoon-like, utterly useless numbskulls who are royally trying to ensure the destruction of La Liga. And all over a pathetic, personal power battle.
During the Barcelona game – a fantastic advert for the talents of La Liga, now overshadowed completely – the Spanish FA announced that it was suspending all football from May 16. Indefinitely. If the threat were to be carried out, the penultimate round in Spain would not be completed and the Copa del Rey final would never take place. Everything would be in limbo. No sides going into Europe, or being relegated. Or going up. Anywhere.
The justification was a law being passed by the government which will ensure a fairer division of TV revenues in the next deal. Whilst the rich of La Liga are still going to be very rich indeed, the lesser teams will have an extra bit of spending money for crazy notions such as being able to pay their players and maybe buy one or two on the transfer market. The Spanish FA claim that they were cut out of discussions and that the government should not be interfering in its domain.
Joining the Spanish FA in wanting to suspend all football is the Players Union, who called a strike. Motivations, to be honest, are a little confusing, as the new law will ensure more cash for grass roots football and enable better conditions and wages across the board. The suggestion that the Union has been coerced into this position is not out of the question.
On the side of the government is the Spanish League itself – a body that will benefit from any kind of move to improve competition the top flight and increase the financial stability of the rest of the divisions. “A shameful attitude,” said the League President Javier Tebas on the declaration from the Spanish FA.
The whole situation is worsened by a very open personal loathing between Tebas and long-standing president of the Spanish FA, Angel Maria Villar, who has been in the position 26 years and – according to an editorial in Marca – feels that Spanish football is under his control, and his control alone.
It seems far too insane and self-destructive to call a halt on La Liga after this weekend because of the carnage it would cause. But those in charge of such affairs are nothing if not blinkered and stubborn. If it meant that one figure got to raise the middle finger at another with Spanish football being the victim then so be it.
It is hard to see any wiggle room in negotiations either, even if everyone was able to get in a room together and behave like adults, considering the law is the law. The Spanish FA are arguing against a change which pretty much everyone in Spain sees as necessary to help avoid comical results like Real Madrid 9 Granada 1 and Córdoba 0 Barcelona 8.
Perhaps the only resolution is for UEFA to wade in and say that La Liga can do whatever it likes but decree that no-one will be allowed into the Champions League next season, and see how Real Madrid and Barcelona like them apples.
In theory, the weekend to come is a whopper. Real Madrid face another huge test in keeping up with Barcelona with the visit of Valencia, a team which is still clinging onto fourth and even hoping to sneak into third. A buoyant Barca are hosting Real Sociedad, a team dogged enough under David Moyes to perhaps cause a few panicked sweats in the Camp Nou.
But everything now feels a little hollow and pointless, all because of a peeing contest between some pathetic men. They wanted to make the name of La Liga famous around the world, to rival the Premier League. Well, they achieved it. By making it the laughing stock of the football planet.
Tim Stannard

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