Aleeeee Real Murcia .....

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Silly season is in full swing. The most desperate and horrid time of year is here again……and this summer with no international tournaments to occupy time, the rumour mill is in overdrive, overheated and pumping out 90% rubbish, 5% half truth and 5% facts. With little or no actual play, the papers and TV have to find filler....and if there is none, they make it up. I can see people getting really worked up about it. But why bother? Can you change anything? No you can’t, you can fret and vent your spleen on the web all you like, but it won’t change a thing….so my thinking is that “Que será, sera”....whatever will be will be. In Murcia we seem to be in some kind of parallel universe, working on “Samper-time” where a day is a week of normal time. It’s slow-cooking on a low gas.

Of course during this time there are no end of names of players who we are supposedly interested in. But in segunda most teams seem to be on a level plane (except Deportivo La Coruña) that half are in serious financial trouble or directly in administration, so there is no money to pay transfers, so clubs have to be inventive in how they attract the players on offer. Contract length is one thing, but it carries risk if things don’t work out, and we have been burnt before. And while we have yet to confirm a signing, around us it seems as if deals are being closed, and frustration grows – especially when you see that our noisy neighbours down in Cartagena (under whatever denomination they play under now) have been on a shopping spree.

But, as with the story of the Hare and the Tortoise, being quickest is no guarantee of success. I am confident Real Murcia are working well, and that in the end everything will fall into place. In the meantime, we have to have patience. We may be very hungry...but sometimes slow cooked can be extremely tasty and worth the wait.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The River of Defeat.....

Yesterday saw River Plate relegated to the second level of Argentine football for the first time in their history. In the last minutes of the game you could see the reactions. Some whimpered in tears. Some got angry. Then, somewhat predictably once the worst was confirmed, chaos followed, with violence, threats to players and officials, visiting supporters unable to leave the stadium for hours, running battles between police and fans, shop-fronts smashed and many injured.

I can’t imagine a Manchester United or a Chelsea or an Arsenal, Real Madrid or Barcelona, going down, getting relegated. However, I can imagine the reactions. I have seen their supporters get upset when it doesn’t all go their way - I can remember getting peed off with fellow Arsenal supporters when one year we only came second after the last day fixtures – seeing them blubbing and with lips quivering like bloody wet nellies on the telly after just losing out on the title. I’ve seen it from Chelsea and Man Utd also....crying like a spoilt brats after losing whatever yearly cup final they might happen to lose...fer fecks sake, grow a pair!

That’s the sad thing about following a big club. There is little joy. Each weekend brings the torture of the demand for success, any failure to gain maximum points, or even not to destroy your opponent, leaves them feeling empty. Some don’t even greet goals with joy....but with an “about bloody time!” and an impatience for the next one to go in.

As I get older I’m starting to appreciate the football experience (as a fan) in a different way. From previous posts you know that the “football as entertainment” line isn’t mine. Barcelona, that everyone drools about, bore the pants off me. As do Cristiano Ronaldo’s repetitive and tiring step overs. I just want a big hairy defender to kick him. Hard. And being a supporter of a real club, real in the sense of human and flawed, has helped me to enjoy my teams games more than the fans of any of the ultra successful teams could theirs. We are contented with small things. Victories or achievements, however insignificant, are greeted with honest happiness. Why? Because we have the experience of all of footballs emotions.....including relegation. So when you have been in hell....purgatory seems just fine. So the attitude to losing a cup final….would get the beers in, cause evidently we would have won a semi final! And that would have been magic!

Sounds strange I know, but relegation is too often greeted with such doom, when indeed it can be “jodidamente enriquezedor”....horribly enriching, and perhaps something every real football fan should experience in their supporting lifetime. Our Real Murcia club has come through it strengthened, both in terms of the management and playing staff, as in terms of a revitalized and growing unconditional support.

I’m sure, in a couple of years time, River’s fans will have fond memories of their upcoming and likely short spell in segunda. Seeing different scenes a bit lower down the same ladder that you usually top, should help them appreciate the good times a bit more. I have to say our 2010 / 2011 season in segunda B has been a joy for me. I don’t want to go back....but it’s a season that won’t fade in the memory like some others have.

Segunda 2011 - 2012

Yesterday saw the last of the promotion play-offs from segunda B to segunda (Alcoyano and Guadalajara promoted) so now we know the final make up of next season's segunda division :

Barcelona B
Deportivo La Coruña
Gimnástic Tarragona
Las Palmas
Numancia Soria
Real Murcia
Real Valladolid
Recreativo de Huelva
Villareal B

Favorites for promotion have to be Deportivo, along with the 2 other relegated sides, Hércules and Almería. You have to expect Real Valladolid and Celta to be strong again. Real Murcia, despite being recently promoted, will have the weight of expectation on us (we are the "kings" of the division with 8 second division championships, none of the others come close), but I would be satisfied with a mid table tranquilo season, after the ups and downs of the last 2, and to set the basis of a side that can push for promotion in 12/13.

Relegation? Let's hope the 2 reserve sides (Barcelona B and Villareal B) go down and therefore stop adulterating the competition. Would be nice to see Efese/Balsicas/Cartagonova/Cartagena orwhatevertheycallthemselvesnow struggle too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Talk is Cheap....

The "La Verdad" local daily reports that ex-pepperman Jose Luis Acciari is certain to return to Real Murcia in the summer (he is under contract at Elche). The title of the report is misleading....."ACCIARI RETURNS TO MURCIA"...and leads off with "Jose Luis Acciari will play at Real Murcia for the next 2 seasons, and is the first signing of the summer". But then......then it makes clear that this isn't official. So he isn't signed and isn't sure to play the next 2 seasons at Real Murcia. As Acciari is a cult figure at the club - this looks like a blatant case of dressing up rumour as fact in order to sell papers.

Would he be a good signing? Committment would be 100%....he's a confessed lover of the club who brought him to Spanish football. As mentioned, a cult hero with the fans after he scored a goal against Levante in 2003 that gave promotion to primera. But don't ask Acciari to be creative, as with the ball at his feet he's quite limited. do need a player like him in the squad....he's an old dog, and knows all the tricks....he can foul, playact, argue with referees, and generally play the role of a baseball closing pitcher....come on and make sure we hold a result.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why Madrid and Barça must be opposed....


LIGA JUSTA (the “Fair League”) is the idea of a group of Spanish football’s fans, who are concerned about the lack of competitiveness within the Spanish LIGA BBVA (hereinafter, “La LIGA”). As a result, the first and second pots are exclusively reserved for R.Madrid and FC Barcelona, which are the only teams able of winning the league.

Main cause of this problem is how La LIGA distributes the money of TV rights among the different La LIGA’s teams. The current distribution of the Broadcast Rights is as follow:

R. Madrid €140,000,000
FC Barcelona € 140,000,000
C. At. Madrid €42,000,000
Valencia CF €42,000,000
Villareal CF €25,000,000
Sevilla FC €24,000,000
Ath. C. Bilbao €18,000,000
Getafe CF €17,000,000
R. Zaragoza €14,000,000
Deportivo Coruña €14,000,000
RCD Espanyol €13,700,000
R. Mallorca €13,700,000
C. At. Osasuna €13,000,000
UD Almeria €12,500,000
RC Racing Santander €12,500,000
Sporting Gijon €12,000,000
Malaga CF €12,000,000
UD Levante €12,000,000
Hercules Alicante €12,000,000

Thus, Real Madrid CF or FC Barcelona earns €128,000,000 (£108,665,000) more than the last La LIGA team, €98,000,000 (£83,196,000) more than the third club in earnings (Atletico de Madrid), and €116,000,000 (£98,446,000) in relation to a Champions League Team like Villareal CF. These earnings are not based on the performance of the teams. Unlike in Spain, in England the difference between the first team in TV broadcasting right (Manchester United) and the last one (Middlesbrough) is of £23,000,000 (during the season 2009 / 2010). This difference only amounts to £4,500,000 in relation to team in position three. For further details please see the illustration below, which compare how TV money is distributed in Germany, France, England and Spain.


The current agreement on distribution of Spanish TV Rights will terminate in 2014. For the years following 2014 the Spanish clubs are negotiating a new agreement, which should govern the new distribution of TV money. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, considering “insufficient” their respective current status, are trying to impose a new system in which the money will be distributed in the following manner:

1. R. Madrid and FC Barcelona €157,000,000
2. At. Madrid and Valencia CF €45,000,000
3. The remaining clubs €26,000,000.

This system will increase the current differences between Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and the other La LIGA’s teams. With the system proposed by these two teams, it might be impossible that clubs like Valencia CF, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, FC Sevilla, Villareal CF, Real Sociedad, Real Betis or Real Zaragoza even compete for winning La LIGA. All future seasons in the Spanish Primera Division will be a repetition of the last seasons 2009/10 and 2010/11, in which FC Barcelona was champions 28 points and 25 points ahead of Valencia CF (3rd) and 36 of Sevilla FC (4th in 09/10) and 34 of Villareal CF (4th in 10/11). Through this system R. Madrid and FC Barcelona will perpetuate at the first and second position. As result, we will have a death and unattractive competition.

Furthermore, as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will earn more than €90,000,000 (£80,000,000) than Arsenal, Manchester Utd, Chelsea or Liverpool, they will have a huge competitive advantage for winning every year Champions League title (and the money associated to it). The differences from R. Madrid and FC Barcelona will be every year greater, not only in comparison with the Spanish teams, but also, in the medium- and long term, to other European teams of the importance of Bayern Muenchen, Manchester United, Liverpool FC, Arsenal FC, HSV, Internationale, AC Milan, Schalke 04, Juventus. AS Rom, Tottenham hotspurs, Everton FC, etc.

Against this proposal, some La LIGA’s clubs (Villareal CF, Ath. Bilbao, Sevilla FC, RCD Espanyol, R.Zaragoza, R. Sociedad, and Real Betis) are trying to find an agreement, through which la LIGA might distribute the TV money in a similar fashion than the Premier League. Through this system, the TV broadcasting rights money will be allocated in accordance with the following criteria:

1) -- 40% of all the TV Money to be distributed equally as a fixed amount to all la LIGA’s teams

2) -- 60% depending on five different criteria: 1) PPV, 2) Historical performance of the teams, 3) 5 last-season performance of each team, 4) last year performance, and 5) money for the Second Division and Copa del Rey.

In numbers, this system proposed by these teams will result (illustrative figures) in the following distribution of TV money (based on the period between 05/06 and 09/10):


1) R. Madrid 88,000,000
2) FC Barcelona 78,000,000
3) At. Madrid 59,000,000
4) Valencia CF 53,000,000
5) Sevilla FC 44,000,000
6) Ath.Bilbao 42,000,000
7) Villareal 39,500,000
8) R. Mallorca 38,000,000
9) RCD Espanyol 36,500,000
10) Deportivo Coruna 36,500,000
11) Getafe 34,500,000
12) The remaining teams an amount between 27,500,000 and 31,000,000.

We, LIGA JUSTA, are determined to fight against the proposal of Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona, defending the competition equality and fairness. We fight for a league similar to the Premier, in which the distribution of the TV rights is carried out on a performance basis, something that tries to strengthen the competition, resulting in a more attractive league. Defending another kind of La LIGA will also benefit international teams by having a more competitive Champions League tournament.

You can find more information to this issue in the following webpage:


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Coming or Going.....

New coordinator of football (Sergio Fernandez's replacement) Jose Luis Molina is a busy fellow right now. Theres plenty to sort out.....players out of contract who have to be told their future lies elsewhere or are to be offered new deals, players with contracts who may have to move on, homegrown players who may be loaned out, new signings to be made. He'll need to keep his phone charger close at had, his cell is going to be overheating.

Sifting through the press (so no real facts) it seems players departing for sure are Abraham Noé, Ruben Rosquete and Alvaro Camara - players who have contributed little. To add to these we have Antonio Cañadas and Dani Aquino who are special cases.

Antonio Cañadas showed 110% committment...he's a Real Murcia fan....scored serveral goals and is a free kick specialist, something that will be important in segunda. Surely there must be space in a 25 man squad for him....I can imagine a boring 0 - 0 draw and having an "edge of box" free kick in the 89th minute....having Cañadas on the bench would get you points in that situation - plus he gives the squad a feelgood factor, a good teammate...he feels the club. For me it would be a mistake to let him go.

Dani Aquino it very talented but wayward. Sometimes he seems to lack concentration, and is rumored to like propping up a bar (but then show me a 20 year old that doesn't!), and has been plagued by injury over the last 2 seasons. Just when it seems he is coming into some form (again, he's another that can deliver a great dead ball) the club appear to have decided not to offer him a new deal. He's another who clearly loves the club - his father starred at the end of the 80's and in the 90's, and he coming up through the youth ranks. I think that if he gets his head right he'll be a player for primera.....but if he doesn't he'll end up in segunda B or tercera. Well worth another chance.

Players from the reserves who have had a role this last season - Urzaiz and Mario Marín may be loaned out. Why? I think a vote of confidence for them is needed.....not to be first 11, but they are very good replacements (and Mario Marín should surely be destined to be our first choice full back for years to come). To bring in 2 journeymen to fill the squad instead of these may be bringing in a bad apple (a lesson that should have been learnt from the 09/10 relegation season) and I feel wouldn't be the right thing to do.

Interesting couple of weeks coming up.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Draw fixing at the RFEF

They are at it again. The inept useless bunch that run the game in Spain (see posts anon). Take a look at the video. This is the draw for the promotion play offs from Tercera to Segunda B. Special attention from minute 3.30 - they call up the president of Alcobendas to choose....and he just asks the official, thinking his voice isn't being recorded...."which ball is Arandina?"...the official shows him which one it is....he grabs it, keeeps hold of it whilst moving the balls around, pulls it out....and surprise's Arandina. He punches the air in celebration that his club has drawn Arandina....but hang on a minute....he forgot that he's still to draw out his own club.....the official points at the ball he needs to select and mutters something without moving his lips....this time no simulated mixing of the balls, he just goes straight in and pulls out.....surprise again....Alcobendas.

Pretty shocking. I doubt any action will be'll be swept under the carpet and forgotten.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Season Tickets 2011/12 season....

From 21st June you can purchase your season tickets from the club boix office - this is for both renewals and new holders. Prices are :

General :
Tribuna Preferente Upper : € 700.00
Tribuna Preferente Lower : € 650.00
Tribuna Lateral Upper : € 450.00
Tribuna Lateral Lower : € 400.00
North and South goals Upper : € 225.00
North and South goals Lower : € 200.00
Peñas (supporters clubs) South upper and lower : € 135
Disabled : € 100.00
Disabled helper : € 160.00

Shareholders :
Tribuna Preferente Upper : € 420.00
Tribuna Preferente Lower : € 390.00
Tribuna Lateral Upper : € 270.00
Tribuna Lateral Lower : € 240.00
North and South goals Upper : € 135.00
North and South goals Lower : € 120.00
Peñas (supporters clubs) South upper and lower : € 81.00
Disabled : € 60.00
Disabled helper : € 96.00

OAP's and under 25's : 10% discount

Payments options :
Cash or credit card.
If you take your account number (20 digits) you can pay 50% on the day and the rest in 4 chunks (October, November, December and January).

Box office will be open from Monday to Friday, from 9.30 a.m. to 13.30 p.m., and then from 16.30 p.m. to 19.00 p.m.

Reasonable price, indeed these are the very same we have for season 09/10 in the second division. I still think that the 10% reduction for OAP's and youngsters isn't nearly enough...should be at least 40%, also, nothing for juniors (say 5 to 16 year olds).....other side give cheapoptions....not Real Murcia. These are the faithful of the future......

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sinister Purpose

We all know that Sergio Fernandez renounced the chance to continue as director of football the day after promotion was assured in Lugo.....his destination, historical rivals Hercules Alicante. His contract terminates 30th of June.....but why on earth would Real Murcia want to let him continue to use the club's offices and facilities until then, given everything he does is aimed at improving an opposing team?

Are the Samper brothers being too nice? I know they probably don't want to fall out with him completely....and Fernandez did say he would never do anything to hurt Real Murcia's interests.....but what's wrong with some garden leave? I suspect all the information built up over the last 12 months is now safely on a CD or pendrive and being used for Hercules's benefit. As with their slowness to move on transfers and contract negotiations (sometimes meaning we miss out or a player has their head turned), are they being too slow to act decisively on this too? Are they taken in by Fernandez's assurances? For me....if you know who the "fifth columnist" is....fer fecks something about it! Quick! Get im aht!

The day after he decided to should have been "thanks a lot, now clear you desk and piss off". He's was even hanging around at yesterday's game.....spying for Hercules no doubt.

I don't get the clubs attitude on this.

Iñaki Alonso ; 2 more years

Good news.....finally the club have officially announced that Iñaki Alonso will continue as manager for the 11-12 and 12-13 seasons. The official website said that:

"The basque coach and the club president Jesús Samper reached an agreement that will unite their destiny until June 2013. The target they both set was reached, and therefore both parts wished for the relationship to consolidate and serve to bring the club closer to the elite of national football.

Iñaki Alonso, as a person and as a professional, has impressed the Murcianist family. He is loved since he arrived last summer, and more so after the spectacular year realized by the players he directs. His work, his words, his desire to take Real Murcia higher has served so the faithful could see in him the perfect guide. The clearest evidence of this is that at no game, home or away, has passed where the fans have not sung his name from the stands.

For the 2011-12 season the Peppermen will be one of the great protagonists in the silver category. We are the kings of the second division, and we arrive back hungry. The project is exiting because of the ambition of all involved. Captain Alonso will maintain at his side his faithful assistant Karlos Barrutia - inseparable since he started managing. Also, two club men will continue beside the basque pair; José Antonio Morga as physical trainer, and Avelino Viña as goalkeeping coach

Real Murcia 1 Sabadell 0 (9 - 8 on pens)

Weeeeee are the CHAMPIONS!

And deservedly so. We dominated this game from start to finish - I can only remember one Sabadell shot, whilst we managed to miss several clear cut chances, both Isaac and Chando hitting the woodwork. The defence were immense - Luciano and Camara in particular. Dani Aquino scored a great goal - a long range free kick, it's a shame he hasn't been able to develop as hoped and is expected to leave the club. If he gets his head right, he'll be a very very good player...unfortunately it isn't going to be in Murcia where patience has run out.....pity...but good luck to him.

Real Murcia:
Ander Gago - Luciano - Cámara - Óscar Sánchez
Mario Marín (Dani Aquino 60') - Carles - Urzáiz (Kike 46') - Molino (Isaac 46')
Cañadas - Chando

De Navas
Chapi - Agustín - Toni Lao - Bermudo
Robles - Manga (Fito 60') - Puigdollers - Raúl
Joaquín (Marc 67') - Eneko (Isaac Cuenca 46')

1-0 Aquino 71'

Referee: Mr. Ramos Rodríguez. Awful. Went out of his way to make sure everyone knew he wasn't going to favour the home side. He helped Sabadell throughout, failing to apply clear advantage on Real Murcia counter attacks. Fussy, card waving......gave Sabadell a ridiculous penalty for handball by Camara (only changed after his linesman insisted on a previous offside), and didn't give a stonewall pen when Kike was rugby tackled in the second half.

0-1 Fito
1-1 Kike
1-2 Robles
2-2 Carles
2-3 Isaac Cuenca
3-3 Cañadas
3-4 Marc Fernández
4-4 Luciano
4-5 Bermudo
5-5 Dani Aquino
5-6 Agustín
6-6 Isaac Jové
6-7 Toni Lao
7-7 Sanchez
7-8 Puigdollers
8-8 Alberto Cifuentes
8-8 Raúl Rodriguez missed
9-8 Chando

Att : 6,488 which is very disappointing - but somewhat indicative of how fickle fans are in Spain. Unless one of the "evil empire" of Madrid or Barcelona are involved, stadiums are never full. That is a sad and irrefutable fact. Those that did bother to turn up were great and in good voice, especially after the break and during extra time.

Sadly the team were not able to lift the champions trophy, the RFEF in their wisdom, will present the cup to our president at their next get together. So they made do with going to each end to salute the fans. Somewhat muted without the deserved pot to be paraded and held aloft.

After the match manger Iñaki Alonso said he hadn't signed his new deal, but he expected to do so - he did make a small but very subtle point - that Real Murcia owners the Samper brothers to like to take things at their own pace, and that he had respected this and been patient. His real point (I think) was that in the world of football slowness and insisting everyone adapts to your timetable, isn't a great idea - players and managers want their deals done, and delays can mean other clubs making tempting offers and leaves you open to being gazumped. He said that before the game he told the squad that this was the best group of people he had worked with or was ever likely to work with. He has meetings over the next couple of days (planning next seasons squad, who goes and who comes).....and said he was drained and looking forward to a break. I hope he enjoys it....he's earnt it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

There is a final today!

But it doesn't seem to be being taken seriously. I don't expect to see more than the normal 7,000 or maybe even less at the Condomina this evening. I won't bore you again with how disappointed this make me feel.

It could be a great game - Real obliged to win by 2 goals to overcome the 1 - nil deficit from the first leg, and a chance for the squad and fans to do some mutual thanking.

Team news is that Richi won't be playing today after having his appendix out, and coach Alonso is expected to line up a mix of the regulars and bench players. For some it may be their last game in a Real Murcia shirt - the press speculating on the futures of at least half the squad. Alonso himself has yet to sign a new deal - however both he and owner Samper have said that there are just a few odd details to iron out on a new 2 year deal. Just a formality.

So....the cake is made, filled and iced. Let's just put the cherry on top.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Sound Of Silence

Little echo in Spanish press of UEFA's latest report on the state of the game. La liga won the "prize" of being the least competitive league, and was also named as having the worst systems of financial control along with the super stong and interesting Albanian league. Yes....Spain and Albania will be the only leagues who have failed to introduce their own financial fair play rules.

Maybe it's the fact that it isn't any surprise at all given the ineptitude of the the people that run the game. Attention is drawn by the fantastic play of Barcelona, the world cup winning national team, and Real Madrid who dominate evrything - as long as those 3 are good.....the masses don't care or are unaware of any undercurrent of trouble.

I investigated the other day and found that in England even the 8th level of the league ladder has a sponsorship deal. Clubs get an intake stream, however limited. I can remember as a kid that the first division was the Canon League, the League cup was first the Milk Cup, then Littlewoods, then whatever. Until just 4 seasons ago, la Liga didn't have a sponsor. The Copa Del Rey is still just the Copa Del Rey. And as I mentioned in other posts, the division Real Murcia competed in this season, Segunda B, has no sponsor, no TV deal, and therefore shirt and hoarding sponsors disappear. Any wonder 20 odd clubs (including historical and well supported clubs like Cadiz) are on the brink of folding? Many will go......and I have to say some of the blame must lay with the RFEF and it's president Angel María Villar. Him and his cronies that think trophies should be presented at plush dinners. They can blame inept owners overspending, but their almost complete lack of implication to help fund lower leagues is startling. Their threat of relegation for any team who aren't up to date with payments to players just stinks of lunatics running the asylum.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sunday's Final....on the CHEAP!

Very cheap prices announced for Sunday's return leg against Sabadell.....

- Tribune Upper: 25€ (next to the directors box)
- Tribune Lower: 20€ (below directors box)
- Lateral Upper: 15€
- Lateral Lower: 10€
- South Goal: 8€
- North Goal: 8€

Tickets sales:

- Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (Thursday is a fiesta in Murcia): from 09:30 to 13:30 and then 17:00 to 19:00 at the club offices (next to the club shop at the main entrance)
- Saturday: from 11:00 until 13:00 at the club offices (next to the club shop at the main entrance)
- Sunday: from 17:30 until the game starts at 18.45, at the box office (on the opposite side of the ground to the main entrance.

You know the score.....the New Condomina is just north of Murcia with easy access from the A-7 motorway. The best stadium in spanish football, excellent sightlines from wherever, easy parking, increasingly noisy fans and and increasingly better team. We are on the brits...forget Elche, Hercules or Cartagena and get yer backside down the the New Condomina!


Self congratulatory post. This blog is a year old today, 269 posts later.

I surprised even myself.....didn't expect it to go on for so long, expected it to be abandoned like so many others are after starting with good intentions.

Thanks to all of those who followed, commented, or have said hello in person.

Reaching this landmark....has me thinking of perhaps making the blog bilingual......


Monday, June 6, 2011

Sabadell 1 Real Murcia 0

Weird. I know the real prize for both Sabadell and Real Murcia was the promotion that both had already earned, but to see the ground three quarters empty for a final with a nice pot in play was quite a surprise. Well, not really....

You will see from our line up that we let most of the first 11 have a rest, some injured, some for "tactical reasons"....but the players that came in did a good job. I thought we looked a far better outfit than Sabadell, and but for being wasteful in front of goal (Kike the worst culprit), the referee not awarding us a stonewall penalty, and a late soft flukey rebounded goal, should have won.

CE Sabadell:
De Navas
Chapi Arnau - Pagés (Agustín 51’) - Toni Lao - Alex Ruiz
Robles - Raúl Rodríguez (Marc Fernández 70’) - Fito Miranda (Isaac Cuenca 63’) - Albert Puigdollers
Eneko - Joaquín

Real Murcia:
Ander Gago - Luciano - Cámara - Góngora
Carles - Urzaiz - Mario Marín (Isaac Jové 80’) - Cañadas (Pedro 72’)
Molino (Abraham 77’) - Kike

1-0 Isaac Cuenca (85’)

Referee: Mr. Ripoll Solano. Blind.

The return leg of the segunda B final is on Sunday 12th at 6.45 p.m. at the new Condomina. Let's hope in Murcia we are able to at least half fill our stadium! But i'm not very optimistic. When the main prize is gone, the excuses are many.

"Nothing to play for"
"It's only segunda B"
"Going to a wedding / Cristening / Communion"
"I'm off to the beach"
"tickets are too expensive"
"I'm washing my hair"
"I get depressed on Sunday afternoons and can't get my arse off the sofa"
"My second cousins friends brother's dog is having puppies"

Most people are using this.....

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sabadell - Real Murcia

First leg of the segunda B Championship game is today at 8.30 p.m., and will be shown in part on local "la 7" TV channel....I say in part as Cartagena are playing an insignificant game, but will cry about Murcian centralism if the channel show our game instead of theirs. They love to play the victim. The alternative (which I recommend) is the club TV channel on and the commentary of the brilliant Jose Manuel Sanchez.

Both teams are in hangover mode as the real prize was promotion which both gained. The title is honorific....but would be nice to have. I expect an unusual starting 11.....we have Richi, Aguilera and Albiol injured, Ivan Amaya, Oscar Sanchez and Aquino are not in the some of the bench players get their chance. That means homegrown talent such as Urzaiz and mario Marin should start.

Fingers crossed for a good result tyo bring back to the Condomina.

Friday, June 3, 2011

RFEF - How Out Of Touch?

Sometimes (and today is such a day) I get really annoyed by rank stupidity. The people that run the game in Spain, the RFEF (Real Federación Española de Fútbol), those who couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery, are again far too far up their own arse to see what a mess lower league football is in. But can this be any surprise? It seems they don't care...Spain won the world cup and Madrid and Barcelona clean up all the honours. Fantastic. Everything must be rosy, and they must be patting each others backs and hahaha.

But remember.....half of primera and segunda are in administration, segunda B is totally ruinous, teams have disappeared mid-season, and below that....oh forget it.
What are they actively doing to make segunda B more attractive to sponsors who can help the starving economy of needy clubs? A TV deal for segunda B clubs? A reform to make it more attractive? A reserve league to remove second teams that adulterate the competition? Honestly I don't know what they are doing, what their marketing and advertising boffins are up to. But what I do know is, segunda B clubs get zero (0) TV money unless they get a paltry deal from a local station. Real Murcia gave (for free) their TV rights to our regional channel 7.

Over the last 3 weeks I have looked on green with envy as the COCA-COLA first and COCA-COLA second titles were won and lost in England. The BLUE SQUARE conference play off was also interesting. The BLUE SQUARE and COCA COLA (first and second) play-offs were great. We saw advertising on flags, ribbons, hoardings, TV commentators are obliged to mention the sponsors at every opportunity. The winnners have their photo taken behind a big sign emblazoned with the sponsors logo.

Why am I going on about this? Well......I just found out that the trophy as winners of group 4 of Segunda B....and the trophy for winning the play off final.....are not presented to the winning captain on the pitch or gantry after winning the game. No. They are presented to the president of the team at the next annual meeting of the suits at the RFEF. So the owner lifts it a few months from now, after a rich dinner and in front of a bunch of tuxedo'd cigar chugging bigwigs. How can you expect to attract sponsorship money when you prohibit advertisers biggest chance of publicity?

Maybe it's just me......but I think Villar and his yes men are on another planet.

Photo : Nice pots. Group 4 champions (right) and Segunda B Champions (left). Pity we won't see our team parade them.

Change (Is Gonna Come)

Less than a week after promotion, and before Iñaki Alonso has even signed a new contract, the demanding sector of Murcia is sharpening it's knives. Admittedly, in Segunda B we should theoretically clean the fact that we obtained a record points score and went up at the first play off round, has been taken by some as simply normal. But the same could be said of Cádiz, Castellón or Oviedo, and they won't even smell promotion for another 12 months.

So why have we seen comments like "this team played very badly all season" or "with this manager we will NEVER go up to Primera" or "the play has been shocking"? People don't have a sense of perspective - if you spend all your time watching Barcelona or Real Madrid, of course our style won't compare well.....but then...whose does? I won't bore you again with the story of unfair funding for those two, and the snowball that makes Spanish football an unfair competition.

I've said it before.....the Real Murcia fan base is changing. The demanding, negative and "I told you so" crowd are fewer and fewer within the hardcore 7,000 who turn up come what may. There is a younger generation who don't have Madrid and Barcelona to shelter under.....and back the team to the hilt. Our press has been catering to the old crowd, and hasn’t realized that a different view will have its followers in increasing numbers. But today our local "La Verdad" paper has an excellent piece by Cesar Oliva, which I will translate.

"We are up. Again our team has ascended to a superior category. Meaning that we had previously lost it. That's life. Up, down. Celebrations, the red tide, tears, enthusiastic speeches, passion, happiness.... throughout my life I have now seen a dozen or so such events. I know about all the good intentions, and the phrases that flourish in moments like these, the love of one's colours, and similar clichés. I know about the praise of the players and to a manager seen as a saviour. I know all about it. And I’m living these days just like it were the first time.

The bad thing about age is the experience that you accumulate, and the evidence that all those who are shouting in favour now, can shout against due to a miserable defeat in the last minute against the bottom team. The same people. I want to believe, however, and this is the great teaching of this season, that a new generation of fans has developed, a lot more noble and positive than their predecessors. A generation that accompany the team wherever they go, supports it even in moments so bad, like those in the last game, paradoxically probably the worst time of the whole season. This new support is more English; it leaves debates about play and quality for discussions. In the ground they give everything to the players. Very different to those old and rancid fans that remain, to whom I don't take way and merit for their fidelity, but who even yesterday loudly criticized the tactics of the manager, the speed of our captain or the lack of resources of our forwards. Convinced that with their voice they intend something positive, they sew the eternal unhappiness of Murcianism. That which threw our Lucas Alcaraz and Jose Miguel Campos, or Felipe Mesones after an unjust draw against Real Sociedad in whatever year etc. Those fans will never learn. Our hope is with the new generation.

We are promoted. All are parties and homage’s. Let's learn from experience, and leave the intolerance manifested in the ground for discussions in the pub. We have to support our team at the difficult times, as well as now. Now it is easy".

Excellent, and one of the few times I have found myself nodding in agreement with one of our sports journalists. grumbling old fart....thanks for your support over all these mediocre years....but if you have nothing positive to say in the stands....STFU!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Goodbye Stranger

Director of football Sergio Fernandez has quit the club after meeting with the owners yesterday. I can't really say this is any surprise, as the press have been full of the fact he had an offer from Hercules Alicante - a club where he was captain and played for many years.

It's just a pity that it comes just 48 hours after promotion - and after stating last week that he would always be at Real Murcia as long as the club wanted him. In reality I think we has just saying the right thing so as not to rock the boat on such an important week. Hurcules have offered him full control....something Real Murcia rightly were not willing to give him.

His time at the club has been chequered. The first time I saw him as a player, in a friendly at Cieza....after some rather pathetic handbags stuff with an opposition player, at a corner he brutally elbowed the same player, leaving him bloodied and I think minus a tooth or two. A low level regional player in a friendly. Then he was part of the team which inexplicably managed to concede late goal after late goal and were ultimately relegated to segunda B.....although I have to say you could never fault him for effort.

After the relegation he retired from playing, and was given the position of director of football....the names he proposed bringing in were uninspiring to say the least, and things only really seemed to come together once Iñaki Alonso was confirmed as coach. I'm not sure how much of a loss this is, we'll have to wait and see who the club bring in to the position. What is really annoying is that he seems to have used Real Murcia - and at his first chance has left us for one of our biggest historical rivals. Will all the work and plans, paid for by Real Murcia, see Hercules benefit? So I can't wish him any fact....I hope he fails miserably! We need to get a "one club" man in...who won't bugger off as soon as they get a better offer.

Now the focus is on Iñaki Alonso. before Sergio's departure was announced, he said in a radio interview that "I'm a person taht likes projects...and Sergio and I are a team, and we have done well. If he goes it would mean I would have to think about things". As is his trademark, owner Jesus Samper will not be rushed - the has other businesses to attend to, and will not change his schedule to negotiate with Alonso. Will the manager be patient? He also said yesterday that he had always "respected the rhythms and timings of the club owners, who transmit tranquility" and that it was time to "sit down and see if we can all contuinue together". Sergio's departure, added to the fact that Alonso has firm offers from Numancia and Nastic Tarragona.....make me think that maybe Samper's "tranquility" and refusal to move quickly or alter his agenda.....may end up leaving us with our pants down and looking very very foolish.