Aleeeee Real Murcia .....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rant Number 2.


You will often have heard on news channels and read in newspapers, quotes from Spanish daily sports papers such as Marca, AS, Sport or Mundo Deportivo. In Spain, everyone knows that these papers are slanted towards Real Madrid (Marca and AS) or Barcelona (Sport and El Mundo Deportivo). But do they actually help their supposed favorites? The pretense is that they are serious informers…..but any digging reveals they are partisan and lacking credibility.

A case in point is the effect they have had on the transfer of Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal to Barcelona. Not a day passes without a headline or a quote from a Barcelona player in Sport, or EMD. They should really learn to keep their traps shut, as any words are manipulated and made into headlines with the sole intention of sensationalism and selling newspapers to gullible Barsa fans. This has caused bad feeling in London, talk of disrespect, of infringement of UEFA rules on tapping up – and a hardening of Arsenal’s stance, indeed, a blank refusal even to enter negotiations. Similarly, Marca and AS did the same last season with Cristiano Ronaldo, were very very insistent (no doubt with Real Madrid’s encouragement), and created a lot of bad feeling in Manchester. In the end money talked. But could the whole thing have been achieved more easily and cheaply in private and without creating bad blood between two big clubs? The headlines created an expectation from Real Madrid fans, who won’t accept anything less than the biggest names. Once the paper has been used to tap the player up, Real Madrid are all but obliged to make the signing, and the bigger the number involved in the fee, the better…that’s Real’s chequebook style….failure to sign Ronaldo would have put Florentino Perez’s recent election victory under intense scrutiny.

When they don’t get their way they act like spoilt children. Todays Sport carries an article with a series of stats, comment, rehashed news, attempted irony and plain stupidity, all aimed at Arsenal, for being so bold as to resist. The Gunners under-control and declining debt is labelled “portentious”, the London club are “desperately in need of money” when the reality is the opposite, has part owners (Kroenke and Usmanov) ready to literally stab each other, does bad business selling Eduardo and Merida (when the latter wasted his opportunities, and the former is damaged goods – between the two sold for a 1 million profit – not bad for a failure and a cripple), have upset Bordeaux’s president for not paying a fee for Chamakh (this when the player was a free agent after his contract expired), and a long etc. Let’s not let the facts get in the way of us throwing our dummy out. Papers are sold. This the same week when Barsa’s supposed 11.1 million euro profit was found to be 88,2 million out (Deloitte reports a 77.1 million loss), this without the 150 million loan taken last week to pay players wages. And they just shelled out 40 million plus on David Villa….and still want to spend another 40 on Cesc Fabregas. At least one hack at Sport had the balls to question their masters….” “The first question that ‘socios’ must ask is clear: what is the truth? Fraud, deception, bad management or intoxication?”. The Madrid club’s black hole is rumoured be nearer 800 million euros. They have always claimed that their property portfolios were strong (basically their stadiums) , and therefore the debt was not a risk….but what now that Spain’s real estate bubble has burst?

What happens if and when Real Madrid and Barcelona’s extravagant debts come home to roost, when they can’t spend such amounts? What if they were obliged to become private limited companies like all the other teams in primera and segunda? (Would this bring in the Abrahamovich sugar daddy? I have to admit, although I don’t like that type of owner, it would mean the rest of us mere mortals don’t have to endure the ridiculous presidential elections and the massive porkies of the candidates once every 2 years). What if the rest revolted and demanded a fairer share of television monies (such as happens in the Premier League, Calcio, Bundesliga). Will their mouthpieces survive on stories of austerity and big name departures? Will they attempt to change tack and do some decent reporting on Spain’s other hundreds of professional and semi professional sides, create interest and maybe help the neglected lower leagues to raise some support/cash?

Oh I’m such a pathetic romantic at times.

I’ll get my coat.

Photo : Typical front page.....Real crest, Real player, unreal stories.

Alberto Cifuentes stays put.....


Alberto......has recognized the club's new situation after relegation, and has signed a new reduced deal with the Peppermen. Poor Alberto was about as unlucky as you can get on that horrible day in Gerona, saving the last minute penalty to keep us up, but seeing the ball escape his grasp, rebound off his heel, and trickle into the net. His face and gestures of apology to those of us who made the trip are one of my clearest memories of the day. He was evidently completely crushed by what happened.....let's hope those events will drive and focus him into some great performances that return Real Murcia to the second division. He will have competition for the keepers jersey....new signing Dani Hernandez has been called up to the Venezuela squad.....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mejia Leaves......The Scud has more suiters


News today is that Alvaro Mejia has departed Real Murcia for Avignon in the french first division. This was always going to be the case as he was one of the high earners. Mejia has been hit and miss....he arrived from Real Madrid for the 07/08 season in primera, and has seen 2 relegations in 3 seasons. The last 2 seasons he has been singled out of harsh treatment from the referees, who seemed to be on his case permanently. Not a game went by without a "light" foul being punished with a yellow. 105 games for Real Murcia, many as captain. Good luck Alvaro.

Sergio Escudero...may not be on his way to Deportivo La Coruña. Rumours are that Shalke 04 from the Bundesliga, Plus Real Madrid and Valencia are also interested in his services. Great......the price agreed with Coruña (1,8 million euro) should be increased due to the demand. If we get to 4 million it covers the budget....

Photo : Mejia clearly tugs an opponents shirt. Yellow card.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Local press start their smear campaign....

For me one of the pillars of Real Murcia's historical mediocrity is the fact that the local press have, in the majority (with a few honourable exceptions) always tried to sway public opinion against the team, manager and owner, be we 9th in Primera or just relegated to segunda B. The glass is half empty, whatever the situation. If we were to win the Champions league they would find some kind of fault, as there is a mindset to critisize at every opportunity. In the papers over the last 2 days we have some clear examples.....

Angela Moreno wrote in yesterday's La Opinionthat ;

"Real Murcia's signings only generate doubts and don't create expectation. ¿Who is that? This is the question after a new signing is confirmed. Apart from Richi, the signings of Luciano, Gago, Dani Hernandez, Carles, Cañadas and Abraham Noe are an incognito for the supporters, who prefer to joke that Real Murcia now have, just like Real Madrid, one Gago and one Albiol".

How about a vote of confidence? How about leaving some margin to see if they are any good? Low expectations? Why then have the club sold more season tickets to date than the last 2 seasons? Any passing interest in Segunda B and you would be at least a little familiar with all of these players.....and what was the expectation...¿signing Ronaldo or Messi? In my experience Real Murcia's best sides have been made up of lesser players from smaller teams that see this as their big chance.....they work hard and stay out of the bars. And we are skint Angela, in case you hadn't noticed.

Serial critic Juan Ignacio de Ibarra is as per usual his rancid and damaging self in his opinion column in today's La Verdad.

"Real Murcia is close to having 2,000 season ticket holders (he should have added the word already, but chose not to do so). I think that's too many in relation to whats on offer. Because never, in 80 years of history of the league, has such an unattractive panorama been offered to the supporters. The last week in July, in reality and traditionally, is the start of the season. Despite the fact that the world cup finished a few days ago, spanish teams of all categories have played their first games, because, by now, clubs working with a minimum of coherency, have already done 90% of their work".

This is complete bollocks. All teams are still a long way from having their full squads. The "unattractive panorama", never equaled in 80 years of history can only be for those with split loyalties (of course towards real Madrid and Barcelona). What a short memory. In 80 years we have played even in tercera, at a decrepit stadium, had players locked in the dressing rooms demanding salaries, and have been on the brink, literally, on many occasions. Ibarra titles his piece "Private and Foreign property"....this a criticism of the clubs owners from madrid and that the new manager is from the basque country and the new reserve coach is from Galicia. Ibarra's problem is that he no longer has a red carpet layed in front of him when he arrives at the club. He has a massively over inflated opinion of himself.....understandably, given the buffoons at the local council have even named a street after him, get this, with no irony whatsoever, "Calle MAESTRO Ibarra". The maestro should remember that in 1997/8, with the club dying, only his hated Samper had the balls and the vision to take the club over for a few quid. Be he better or worse (I for one cannot agree with his management style or his selection of directors), he has still paid the wages and maintained the club, and given it the new stadium that was 40 years in tha making actually become a reality.
You Ibarra, chose to sell your soul to Quique Pina and his newly found "Ciudad de Murcia", a team whose only aim was to replace the historic Real Murcia...even going as far as to wear the same colours. It nearly happened.....and then you were sold out by Pina (exactly the type of local businessman you seem to be demanding), who took his club elsewhere. If you feel it is private and foreign, it is becuase YOU abandoned it and can no longer be considered part. Those of us who were and are loyal, see the new season as wholly attractive.....a new start.

Ibarra closes his article with ... "with this panorama, 2,000 Murcianos have signed up for the new season (again, no already). These are people from Murcia. And of Real Murcia, They are those magnificent people that say -Me, with Real Murcia, whatever and wherever. A good example for this unbelievable president who insisted in telling the faithful that thay should realise that the club is private property".

I can't understand people who stop their support because they don't like the owner. Owners come and go.....the shirt still goes out to defend the club.....our club. He even takes the piss out of those of us who choose to be with Real Murcia through thick and thin, which is really insulting. Good job we didn't all fuck off to Ciudad like you did Ibarra. What a clown.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Scud missile....destination La Coruña....


Escudero.....Sergio Escudero, just about the only shining light in last seasons overall disaster, looks like he is on his way (deservedly) to Primera and Deportivo La Coruña. The clubs have agreed a fee, now it's about his personal terms.

He is far too good to be wasting time in Segunda B, and his sale was always going to be ineviatble. Anyhow, good luck to him, and much needed cash in the bank for Real Murcia.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

King's Cup draw....


Real Murcia have been drawn away to Puertollano in the first round of the King's Cup (Copa Del Rey). The tie will be played on Wednesday 25th of August.

This round is played like a proper cup competition - the silly home and away rules only come in once the first division teams come into the competition (third round), and always with the second leg at home for the club from primera. This is supposedly so that the lesser team can make financial profit by actually being in the tie and not 4 nil down after being thrashed. This is crazy.....why should the authorities dictate stuff like that? What if Real Murcia get through 2 rounds and draw Getafe or Villareal or Almeria....they may be in a higher division, but are tiny compared to Real Murcia....why should we be obliged to play the home leg first?

The King's cup, for me, needs a shake up. No home and away, just a pure draw out of a bag, and you play home or away depending if you come out first or second, with no outside adulteration (like our own F.A. Cup). The big clubs would squeal and say it's unfair....but in a few years you will have played as many home games as away. The advantage of knowing the second leg will be at home is unfair, no question. Case of economy over romance, and even then it's not a good arguement, as a good cup run will create far more cash than a quick elimination. But anyhow, fairly typical of the way Spanish football is run and the almost complete abandonment of anything lower than primera. And I won't get started on the advantages given to Real Madrid and Barcelona, who have a complete set of rules just for them......

I'll get my coat.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Guiris back for more.....



Yes.....The Guiri, Guiriwoman, Guirigirl and Guiriboy today renewed their season passes for the upcoming season in segunda B. How many other English (and Scots, Irish) do the club have as followers? I am interested to know, so please make yourself known! (in other words, leave a comment).

Pre season friendlies.....

Saturday 31st July in Torrellano (that's right next to Alicante airport) TORRELLANO - REAL MURCIA.

Thursday 5th August in Campoamor : HORADADA - REAL MURCIA.

Wednesday 11th August at Los Arcos stadium in Orihuela : ORIHUELA - REAL MURCIA.

Saturday 14th August at El Clariano stadium : ONTENIENTE - REAL MURCIA

Tuesday 17th August at the Municipal de Villafranquesa de Alicante : ALICANTE - REAL MURCIA

Sunday 22nd August at Nueva Condomina : REAL MURCIA - ELCHE.

Hope to catch up with some of you at these friendlies. You can't miss me, I look like, if you can imagine, Ronald Koeman and Meatloaf's lovechild.

Flush of signings for Real Murcia.....

Antonio CAÑADAS Zapata.....Striker, 31 years old, from Murcia region (Albudeite), las season played at Poli Ejido. "As a child I went the the Condomina to see the team. and now it is incredible that I will be wearing that shirt. The key to promotion is unity and most of all honesty. I can still improve and I will give everything for this shirt"

CARLES Marc martinez.....defensive midfielder coming out of Valencias reserves. "I will give everything for Real Murcia, a big club, one of spanish football's historic clubs, and being part of the squad is important for my carrer and I didn't doubt for a second when they called me".

ABRAHAM NOE. Midfielder coming from Lucena. "I am a strong and very quick player. I had many offers from clubs in the second division, but of Real Murcia come calling....I prefer to play here than in segunda. I have come to gain promotion, anything less will be a complete failure".

LUCIANO Gonzalez Groba. Central defender, also arriving from Poli Ejido "In El Ejido we had many off field problems. Real Murcia are forming a great squad and it is a big club. We need take it day by day".

DANI HERNANDEZ Santos. Goalkeeper, Born in Venezuela, also arriving from Valencia'a reserves.

ANDER GAGO Alvarez. Rightback from Lemona in the Basque country. "Real Murcia is a great club. We are priviledged to play at the New Condomina".

Other news is that David De Coz as departed the club and signed for Cordoba, Oscar Sanchez looks like going to play in Canada and Natalio has f'ked off to Tenerife (good riddance to bad rubbish).

Both ALBERTO and ISAAC have renegociated their contracts downwards and will be staying at the club....which is good news.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If you visit Murcia, don't miss....(2)

Bread from Tio Benito. This isn'y your flabby, square, packed in plastic horrid stuff, or the mass produced baguette types you get at a petrol station. It's not even comparable to the barras from your local bakery. This is the real thing. Homemade and baked in their own oven.



I first heard of Benito's bread when a friend of mine turned up one day with half a loaf. Wow. Just by itself it's great, but with a drop of olive oil or used as a scoop for any sauce it is in a class of it's own. And if you toast it a bit, douse in olive oil and add some proper tomato (the pig ugly ridged ones with blotchy colour) then you are close to perfection. If you rub a clove of garlic onto it before adding the oil and tomato, they you are almost in heaven.



The amazing thing is that Tio Bentino is situated in a tiny village, Los Ventorillos, on the road between El Palmar and Mazarron. However his bread is famous throughout the Murcia region, and it is a fame well earned.



They bake bread every day except Tuesday. Go late afternoon and you may have the pleasure of a loaf that's still hot, fresh from the oven....but be careful, the smell that fills your car will have your stomach grumbling to unheard of levels. And only 5 euros for a loaf that will last you a week, can be frozen and still taste great once out of the freezer.




El Ventorillo del Tio Benito....should be a candidate for a UN world heritage site. His embutidos are also not to be missed while you are there.

Richi - Confirmed, 2 year contract


Great news. For those who don't know Richi, he got his break in professional football at Real Murcia and stayed for 6 seasons. Classy in midfield, and an intelligent bloke to go with it. He is 33.....but I think this is a magnificent signing, he understands the demands of the club and everything that surronds it. He said that "Returning to this club is like coming home".

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quotes from Iñaki Alonso


"A return to the second division is the only objective of this project, and when you have such a complicated objective, we should all pull together and combine our efforts, as if we are not together it will be even more difficult. Inn adversity is when you really see the personality of the players, coaches, management and jornalists. The objective is to regenerate the situation, recover our hope and win, knowing that the shortest route to getting good results is to play well".

"My aspiration is that my teams are very competitive, above better or worse play. I will be myself ans the person and coach that has made this club look to me"

"I had offers from various clubs in the second division, but the offer from Real Murcia, despite being in segunda B, was more important. Both the club and myself had to consider carefully. When Real Murcia came calling it was as if I the skies had cleared, and even if there was some toing and froing, the sporting aspect always came first and I am proud to manage this team, it is a great opportunity I have been given".


"Real Murcia will be one of the teams to beat, maybe the team to beat in the group. There will be difficult moments, complicated, a lot of pressure, and if we can overcome them, I am sure that we will do well in this league. We won't win games just because we wear a Real Murcia shirt, we will have to fight".

"The signings will be made by consensus, but the last word will be with the club, and at Real Murcia the club makes the signings, in this case Sergio Fernandez, but Sergio is inteligent, is getting through a flood of work, and was waiting to know his manager. What we can't do is spend recklessly, there is little or no money, and we all have to work together"


"For me it is an honour and an opportunity to coach Real Murcia and that is why I am here. I need to adapt quickly. I will be myself, the coach that has bet on Real Murcia. I have come from a small team that came close to a miracle, but Murcia is different".

Monday, July 19, 2010

Possible friendly match....

11th August, Orihuela - Real Murcia
Los Arcos, Orihuela....
This and any other confirmed matches I will post here.

Iñaki Alonso confirmed....and not much else....


Iñaki Alonso has been confirmed as manager for the 2010 - 1022 season. Good luck to him....he will be officially presented this afternoon - interested to see what he has to say.

As far as the playing staff are concerned, there needs to be plently of movement today and tomorrow, as it looks like pre-season training will start on Wednesday. To give you an idea....here are the players from last season squad who have already gone :


Iñaki Bea
Bruno
Pereyra
Natalio
Luque
Pere Marti
Van Den Boogaart

Of these only Bea, Bruno and Pereyra were anywhere good enough. Natalio was a shocking professional who refused to put his foot in when it mattered. Luque's only significant contribution was to miss a penalty, Marti played about 10 minutes and Van Den Boogie didn't play at all.....

Players under contract.....

Alberto
De Coz
Ochoa
Mejia
Xisco Campos
Sergio Escudero
Oscar Sanchez
Isaac
Miguel Albiol
Aguilera
Mario Rosas
Capdevila
Dani Aquino
Despotivic
Quique
Chando
Pedro

Of these, director of football Sergio Fernandez will have to negociate with almost all; some their departure from the club as in segunda B Real Murcia cannot afford their wages (Mejia, Capdevila, Despotovic, Mario Rosas and Oscar Sanchez), some to adjust their contracts downwards (Alberto, Albiol, Pedro, Quique, Chando) but with agreement that in the case of promotion, better deals for the return to segunda. The rest.....will be looking to rescind their contracts and look for other clubs.

Sergio Escudero looks like he will be signing for either Zaragoza or Deportivo La Coruña.....for around 1,8 million euros, plus 25% of any future transfer. In Elche they are sure of signing Chando.

Coming in, it looks like keeper Dani Hernandez, the return of Richi from Tenerife, and Indiano from Atletico Madrid B.

To add to the mess and confusion, apparently 20 players have lodged a complaint with the AFP (professional footballers association) against the club for non payment of wages. The club don't seem too worried by this.....oh joy!

Better news is that over 1,000 have already renewed their season tickets in the first week. More than expected....this depite the chaos that seems to surrond the club right now. Hopefully things will become clearer as the week progresses.



Photo : Iñaki Alonso....you won't need that jacket in Murcia son!

Friday, July 16, 2010

That's another fine mess......

Javier Orive on radio SER last night, reported that Iñaki Alonso will be Real Murcia's new manager. Great....it's about time an appointment was made. However (this is of course Real Murcia) it seems there may be trouble ahead, as Alonso isn't in agreement with the type of player that recent appointment Sergio Fernandez has been agreeing deals with as director of football. Oh joy!

Surely Sergio will have had a say in who the new manager was going to be? Surely they must have discussed the type of player required? I can't believe the planning would be this chaotic......

Photo : Sergio (left) and Alonso (right) make clear who is to blame....

Dad, Dad, can I open my piggy bank?

- OK Son, it's your money. What are you going to buy? A game for your PSP or DS?

No.

- Do you want to go to Toys R'Us?

No.

- A DVD?

No. Dad.....I want the new Real Murcia shirt!

- But you already have a few!

But I want the new one!



Photo : The little "Taliban" Murcianist. Have I created a monster?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And If, You Know, Yer History....(Part III)

1st June 2003. Old Condomina Stadium. Real Murcia last played in the top flight of Spanish football in the 88/89 season.....a decade and some ago.

The previous season Real Murcia flirted with relegation, saving themselves with a last day 3 - 0 win over Jaen. Coach David Vidal took over when things were looking really bad, and managed to get the best out of a limited squad. For the start of the 02/03 season, additions to the squad were what seemed to be jorneymen, nothing to inspire. But in the second division Real Murcia are always favorite for promotion (we have 9 second division winners titles - not sure if this can be beaten) so there was some hope of success.

Photo : David Vidal arrives - no grey hair. Leaving he was looking old....What did we do to him?

We started the season well and gained confidence. The german Andreas Reinke was a colossus in goal (even stepping up to score a penalty), Tito ran the midfield, Pedro Largo grew wings in the centre of defence, and Richi looked like a ringer for Dennis Bergkamp. You went to games just knowing the Peppermen were going to dominate and be one nil up after 20 minutes. David Vidal made sure no-one relaxed ever....and so we continued to amass points and keep a distance at the top of the table. We had a decent cup run, only losing in the quarter finals to a fortunate Deportivo La Coruña side on away goals - they fluked an undeserved win at Riazor, then fluked a couple of goals at La Condomina before a fightback saw Murcia win 4 - 3. A loss but it increased the confidence of both players and fans.

With 4 games remaining we needed a home win against Levante, who were also well placed for promotion. La Condomina was packed....I sat in the Grada Alta for this one.



So promotion was ours....but.....as you know Real Murcia is special, and David Vidal was dismissed....and our season back in primera was a complete disaster.

Get Yer Murcianism Out!


That's the slogan for the poster campaign that the club launched today. I know that myself and others have complained to the club that we find it offensive and sexist. We demand a female version should be released immediately!

So far over 800 passholders have renewed, and there have been a few newbies sign up. We should all try to renew....and convince friends family and neighbours to do the same. I'm going to see if I can have a couple of english based Real Murcia followers on the list. Even if only attending a few games....it would make news and shame a few more locals into doing the right thing.

Tomorrow should bring a wave of proper news.....coach and signings will be confirmed.....the names will probably not mean much to us, but.....ho-hum, that's segunda B.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Smoke Without Fire.....


In the aftermath of Spain's world cup victory, finally there is some....I won't say news, as nothing is confirmed.....are some rumours.

Best placed to take over as manager is Iñaki Alonso. Alonso has experience in segunda B, as he led Irun to promotion (and was also relegated from segunda this season). However, he is a young coach.....this would be his first appointment outside of the Basque country. Before promotion with Irun, he managed Lemona to seventh place in 2B on a very limited budget. Managing a bigger club like Real Murcia is a big step up as the potential is that much greater, and the demand for immediate promotion and the pressure that involves will be there.

It is reported that Richi (Ricardo Perez de Zabalza) could return to Real Murcia. This would be magnificent news.....he played six seasons for the peppermen between 2002 and 2008, pure class in midfield. It's a shame he departed for Tenerife when Javier Clemente made an ill advised clear out before the 08/09 season. He featured in 22 games in primera liga for Tenerife last season.....so normally this sounds a bit far fetched. But.....his better half is a Murciana.....and, like pigeons, they are homing.....this I know through first hand experience! This signing would be great for morale.....so let's hope for confirmation.

Fingers crossed for real news tomorrow.....

Photo : Richi shows De Jong how to do it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pickled / World champion / Pundits


Yesterday was great! And of course we had to make the most of it....may never happen again. I can't really remember getting home.....but was late for work this morning. Spain were good value I thought, Holland were fortunate to get away with some rough tackles, Van Bommel got away (as he did in the semi) with murder. I hear our pundits on the BBC were very critical, naming thuggery, and calling the tactics brutal, violent and sickening. What? Hang on.....sorry to mix my goonerism on this Real Murcia blog, but.....aren't these the same pundits who were sorry for Ryan Shawcross when he snapped Aaron Ramsay's leg in half? The same twits who kiss Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis's asses when their teams use the same tactic and rough Arsenal up? The same blokes who say Arsenal need to toughen up and grow some balls after being kicked to pieces.....??

Photos : Bottom, a star over the crest.....whatever happens nobody can ever ever take that away. Top, good hard play or a disgrace, depends who is being fouled.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tomorrow, tomorrow.......


This year has been especially tough for everyone concerned with Real Murcia.....and most of all for the fans. Not the fairweather fans who complain when the cheap seats run out when we are promoted to Primera, or fill seats when they are free or reduced but moan when the football on show isn't on a par with what Barcelona or Real Madrid serve up on TV, but the hardcore who turn up week in week out. It has been hard to take, nearly all desperate, with very rare moments of cheer. Bad decisions or plain ineptitude at board level, referees with a hidden but obvious agenda against our owner, the indolence and lack of professionalism from many squad members, and massive doses of the worst luck you can imagine. All capped with a cruel and undeserved (for the fans) relegation.

Tomorrow could bring celebrations of enourmous proportions to the whole country. Everyone seems to be caught up in the euforia, as is normal. But when things are good it's easy. I count myself as an England supporter.....but can celebrate a possible Spain victory fully with my wife and spanish born kids. However....in the case Spain do lift the world cup......and between cava, G&T and abrazos, my thoughts will be for the real supporters, those that follow Oviedo or Poli Ejido, Cadiz or Racing Ferrol. For the supporters of Madrid or Barcelona who are the majority, it will be just another celebration. The same as their last title, Copa del rey or european cup. For those who have never lived such priviledge, and for whom it is unlikely ever to be repeated, it may be the highlight of their supporting life.

But most of all I will be thinking of the 600 peppermen who shed tears in Gerona. You deserve this.....you really do. And I know that promotion back to segunda will mean even more than a world cup.

ARRIBA ESPAÑA...Y AUPA EL MURCIA....PIJO!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Renewals / Club Grana mag....

The club says that yesterday, the first day for renewals and new memberships, saw 238 actual members take out passes for the new season, and more importantly, 23 new members. Can we beat last year's total of 10,100 members even though we are a division lower? Come on!!!!

The latest edition of the club magazine, "Club Grana", is available free to members from the club shop at the stadium. Includes interviews with Chando, Kike and Sergio Escudero....plus other interesting stuff. Great for practicar español.

Sergio speaks.....

On the doubts over his experience and his new challenge he commented that "I accept it naturally. I will try to convince anyone with doubts, not with words, but with deeds. Time is my biggest and best ally. With hope, desire and effort I will take this forward". Responsibility does not scare Sergio, who added he is "conscious of the challenge that presents itself for the grandeur of the institution, it's fans and the city". The coach has yet to be named, but Sergio didn't mark any deadline...."we can close this in 20 minutes or in 3 days. We are compiling all the information that we are getting, it's an important position, and we want to be sure of the decision we make. And there are no limits as far as the candidates curriculum is concerned, it could be someone with no experience of this division, or another who may have 200 games in it". He laso refered to the squad for next season, which includes may ex playing colleagues, many he counts as friends...."I will have to leave sentiments aside, as I can't be outside the boundaries we have marked. We will look for the best solutions for everyone. We have important players now, and they can also be important in the future. Those already here and those that will arrive will have to display hope, committment, humbleness and effort. Those are the minimum requirements that we demand from whoever forms a part of this project".

Well best of luck Sergio.....I think you will be missed on the pitch, but I am sure your attitude, with the backing of the Sampers, will mean a very committed squad and less internal strife (Just make sure the players keep out of the Plaza 3 bar, theres a good man). The lack of leadership from the suits has been a glaring error over the last few seasons. President Serantes, as I have said, only inspires sleep. We might as well have a scarecrow or a blow up doll in his seat. No backing for the players when refs have been extracting the micheal. Absurd comments every time he opened his gob. That can't be, and it rubs off through the club.



Photo : Sergio Fernandez, with the new managing director, Victor Alonso, and in the middle, Juan Antonio Samper, Uncle Sams uglier sister.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

If you visit Murcia don't miss..... (1)


The lovely local meat pies.....Pastelicos de carne. Available from almost all bakers, it is a staple of the local cuisine as a quick bite as a snack or as lunch or dinner. Either minced or chunks of beef, embellished with the odd bit of chorizo sausage, can differ between cooks. Proper politically incorrect heart clogging pastry made with proper fat. And totally delicious!

Typically combined by Real Murcia fans for evening games with an empanada - which has a different pastry and is filled with bonito (similar to tuna), tomato and hard boiled egg. The pastelico - empanada combo is called an "Aquino and Cuxart" after two ex-strikers.

For me the best are from either Espinosa on Floridablanca number 3, or Bonache on the Plaza de las Flores nearer the centre of town.

Photo : Pastelicos, Estrella Levante (that'll be another post) and Real Murcia. Inseperable!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Confirmed....

Sergio Fernandez has been confirmed as "Coordinator of Football". So at last someone is at the helm and the signings can start. Hopefully tomorrow or Thursday the manager will also benamed.

Sergio Fernandez to retire and become sporting director?


From the papers today it seems he is the candidate best placed to occupy the chair. However.....he was one of the only successes on the pitch......and it does seem too soon for him to stop playing and move upstairs. The good thing is that he knows the club from the inside, and won't stand for any of the late night drinking and general "couldn't give a monkeys" shinangins that 5 or 6 members of the squad got up to last season. With power he could shake up the playing side. The downside is his inexperience in dealing with agents, making contracts, and general knowledge of the division we are in next season.

He strikes me as fairly intelligent (for a footballer), always seems to say the right thing. I think we should give him a go.....but try to keep him on the playing staff also.

Waiting for the coach to be appointed......other sides are making signings....we are dithering. Worrying.

Photo : Sergio Fernandez. Will he swap the paprika red for a suit and tie?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Honest Iñaki....


Iñaki Bea speaks frankly in this morning's La Verdad. It had been rumored he was off to play in Austria, but it seems this isn't the case :

"If Real Murcia don't want me to continue, I will not put any obstacle in order to sign for another team. If we had stayed up it would have been another matter. In that case if they wanted me to go there would have to be a negociation, but after the disaster we footballers have organized, Real Murcia doesn't deserve to be messed around"

"If they can't pay, I'm going to make it easy. If another team comes in, i'll go and that's that. I don't think it's correct to want to be payed for undone work after we have relegated Real Murcia. In the end the players and the coaches can leave, but what remains is the club and it's supporters in Segunda B".

He hasn't rejected the posibility of staying, depends on what the club want to do. But at the moment, with no director of football or coach, everything is moving slowly.

Uncle Sam is reportedy going to be back in town to make some decisions. Rather than learning from mistakes, it seems to me that Samper is making the very same errors; no delegation. No-one makes a move without his say so. I rekon even the bogroll in the loos at the New Condomina are chosen by the man himself. So after the sackings last week, it seems we have an empty office where the technical team and the new coach should be making moves and putting the squad together. Expect a rush of appointments tomorrow and Wednesday.

Photo : Coach Jose Gonzalez tells hardman Iñaki Bea that whatever he says is good with him.

Friday, July 2, 2010

In, Out, Shake it all about....


Majority shareholder Jesus Samper said yesterday that the club would be unable to keep most of the current squad at the club due to an excessive wagebill. In Segunda B Real Murcia need to reduce this bill by 60 or 70%. Samper denied there would be any ERE (Expediente de regulacion de empleo), where staff can be offloaded with little or no compensation, but did say that all the players were available for transfer. He also said that he would be negociating with players to reduce their salaries, others have already found alternative clubs. So there will be a lot of ins and outs over the next 3 or 4 weeks.

There have already been 3 outs in the sporting management. The team that have been putting together the squad for the last few years, Garcia Franco, Paco Zaragoza and Gregorio Marmol have been sacked by Juan Antonio Samper (Jesus's brother). Usually everything Juan Antonio touches ends up being a disaster.....so lets see who comes in. He took on the role himself during the 03/04 season....and we were relegated with months to spare (admittedly, from Primera) as he brought together a squad of declining old glories and crocks. It scares me if they even consider giving him the position again. Whatever happens, an appointment needs to be made quickly....we are already losing time. No manager appointed yet either. Others are moving quicker.

Photo : Juan Antonio "oh brother!" Samper aims a left at ex manager Jose Gonzalez.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Season ticket prices 2010 - 2011

See here.... http://servicios.laverdad.es/servicios/textos/abonos.pdf

Passes for sharholders are quite good value....Fondo Sur at between 75 and 90 euros is good value. Juniors and OAP's 112,50 euros in the same stand.

Everything Changes, Everything Stays the Same...


Owner Jesus Samper had promised "profound restructure" and that big lessons had been learned after relegation to segunda B. Judging by yesterday's events, we have a reshuffle of the same cards, and the same old attitude and promises.

The first meeting of the day was with the mayor of Murcia, Miguel Angel Camara. The mayor had demanded that Samper "and all his people" should leave the club after relegation was confirmed. But like all good politicians he has made a U turn and was in much less beligerant mood yesterday when he had Samper in front of him. The mayor explained that he had informed samper that he had a group of people interested in taking over the club, but that the club owner had responded hthat he had no intention of selling, and that he felt capable and hopeful of getting the team out of it's current situation. "we have to respect that decision as he is the owner and he decides if he wants to sell or not. The most important thing is that Real Murcia will continue and not be abandoned". Camara stated that "this season's project has closed with a failure and a new sporting management is needed. I have told him (Samper) that if he leaves his sharholding there is interest from others to continue to guarantee the clubs viability, in both sporting and economic terms. he told me that he wants to carry on with Real Murcia, and that he wants to recover what he has lost. Learning from mistakes we can construct a better future. He has assured me that all necessary means will be availble so that Real Murcia can return to professional football as soon as possible. He is committed, has faith, and wants to correct what has been badly done".

Samper commented after the meeting that "I hope that I have made clear my wish as majority shareholder is not to give the club away. Real Murcia has a value, but is not subject to an auction, sale or market". Over the posibility of another side using the New Condomina Stadium Samper was very clear....."If another team plays there, at that moment, however painful, I will take Real Murcia elsewhere". That is just horrible.....horrible that the local government have considered letting Real Murcia run down and handing the name over to another local club, and that Samper considers the club as his franchise, to be moved at his whim. Jesus, although the owner, you are also a custodian of the name and history for every supporter.

For me the worst news of the day was that Jose Angel Serantes will continue as chairman. His only qualifucation, for me, is that he is Samper's yes man. This bloke told me personally that he was "sick and tired of Murcia, football, footballers, and was desperate to get back Madrid and live a quiet life". I think this attitude and fatigue has filtered down through the club. Not once has he defended the interests of the club "on field".....his only comments are to make absurd comparisons between supporting the club and going shopping for a shirt at the Corte Ingles, or to defend his boss against any criticism. Other than sleep, he cannot inspire anything.....

The rest of the board basically remains the same mix of Samper confidents and family, plus the odd Murcian for show (who are then excluded from any real decision making meetings).

Very disappointing.....I was expecting new blood, new ideas, more spark, more humility......but we got more of the same. The club is safe in that Samper pays the bills, but the leadership, drive and dedication isn't suddenly going to appear with the same old faces at the helm. I hope i'm wrong, but I worry after yesterday that our stay in segunda B may be longer than we expect.

Photo : Serantes - still club chairman. Just the thought of him makes the eyelids heavy....