Aleeeee Real Murcia .....

Friday, August 26, 2011

Football RIP. Fossil Fuels and Tax Havens

This week Samuel Eto’o signed for Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala (exactly...who?) on a contract worth over € 200,000 per week after tax. Juan Mata signed for Chelsea after this club gazumped Arsenal by offering the player a shitload more money. Samir Nasri joined Manchester City after having his head turned by another £75,000 per week on top of the £100,000 plus he had a pen in his hand to sign a few months ago from Arsenal. Last week a top club in Spain signed the best young midfielder in the world using an offshore investment fund as they could not afford him.

UEFA really need to get a grip, as the ogliarchs and sheikhs are about to ruin our once loved game. How can well run clubs who keep within their means compete with this? How can the Premier league remain a competitive competition when City are buying players, not to play for them, but so they don’t play for a rival? Every time a club wants to sign a player they almost have to go through an approval process from the mega-losses clubs, as they see fit they will just offer more money to stop the player going to another club (see Mata and Lukula signings for Chelsea).

Why are the rest of the continent willing to stand by and let Barcelona and Madrid use offshore third party funds to maintain their position? How long will they put up with their leagues sharing TV funds fairly while Barcelona and Madrid unilaterally take the lions share in Spain?

Financial doping is becoming a really big problem. Money has become the be all and end all, even creating a new type of player, highly paid to play little or not at all, so long as it takes resources away from rivals.

There have always been bigger and smaller clubs, of course, but it was based on fans and ability to draw in gates and sponsors, not by how much your sugar daddy was willing to throw at it or how many favours you got from your local FA. The extra money coming in does no good whatsoever to lower levels of the game – it goes straight into overpaid mercenary players pockets.

Photo : Sheikh Mansoor. Battling with Roman Abramovich to see who can buy the Premier League by stacking up the highest loss. Where's the merit in that?

New Home Kit

Modelled by Chando. Like it!

The strike is we kick off the season at home to Celta Vigo on Sunday at midday (11 a.m. UK time). The club website cannot show the games this season, only radio commentary (due to TV rights in this division). Although you may be able to pick up a feed on the internet at (for example) Rojadirecta.

I'm off on holiday for a week.....let's hope for a strong start!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Manuel "Colocho" Iturra

Chilean Colocho Iturra arrives on a year long loan deal (with a buy out posibility if all goes well) from Universidad de Chile. A full international on no less that 35 occasions. He's a defensive midfielder....sounds like a very good piece of business.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Galder Cerrajería

Galder Cerrajería has arrived on loan from Athletic Bilbao. “I only wanted to be at Real Murcia. Since the news of their interest came out, I told my agent to concentrate on the option to come here, other offers I didn't take notice of". The key to his arrival was "Iñaki Alonso's insistance that I came".

The confidence deposited in him by the coaches at Real Murcia means he can "move forward. My intention is to give everything for this club". Galder knows that "I arrive at an important club that has to demonstrate a lot in this division. We can't renounce anything, but the first target is to make sure we stay up".

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2 Ways To Skin a Cat...

1. The City / Chelsea. Mega rich sugar daddy owners, pumping seemingly endless sums of gas and oil money into their clubs with not a hope of ever recovering a penny of it. The clubs as companies make massive losses (Chelsea cleverly released figures of a £70m loss the same day they spent £75m on Fernando Torres and David Luiz – the fact was lost as the signings took the headlines). City spending just impossible amounts on transfers and wages (next arrival, Samir Nasri, £22m plus a rumoured £200,000 per week) on earth any player can, in this day and age, stay at their club if one of these two come shopping needs no explanation. City's way of funding this and trying to balance the books is to get the owners also mega rich brother or cousin to have his airline sponsor the club at a hugely inflated rate so it looks like legitimate income. Let’s all drool about how well they play….but let’s not forget that they have an unfair advantage over well run clubs. It’s like cheating with drugs, but with money.

2. The Barça / Madrid. Effectively owned by their fans (unlike all other Spanish clubs who are obliged to be private limited companies) they run up debts they are finding increasingly hard to service, despite the unfair advantages they get from the priviledge of grabbing most of the TV money between them. The City/Chelsea who can just slap more money on the table to get their signings in, have made life more difficult, as the Barça/Madrid can't compete. So they use other tactics to turn player's heads, such as emotional blackmail, blatant tapping up, and the Chinese water torture of day after day media stories published in their mouthpieces (Marca, AS, Mundo Deportivo, Sport). Little or no respect for forms, regulations, process and other clubs. Take the Cesc saga....after relentless tapping up and media stories, whilst not coming up with the money, the day before the start of the season they finally get their way....but not by paying up, but by making Arsenal's position impossible by having the player insist he will only sign for them and them only, and immediately or else he would continue to be either unfit or unsettled. Then they pay only around 30% upfront, the rest later on, have the player reduce his wages and forfeit a bonus....and more than all this I hear that this may be a case of third party ownership; that Barça will hold his footballing rights (he will play for them) but his economic rights are held by an offshore investment fund not owned by the club (allowed in Spain, but not in England. Remember how complicated the Carlos Tevez signing for Man Utd was due to his split ownership between a club and private individuals? Same thing). If this is true, Barça will have brought in the best young midfielder in the world, have immediate access to his talent, but will have effectively paid nothing for him (in exchange for not being able to have any future transfer fee). The selling club will be without the player and without immediate access to the funds to reinvest. How can that be right? This is a club described by experts as "technically bancrupt" less than a month ago.'s cheating with money.

The question for me is how UEFA are going to view both cases in respect of their "Financial Fairplay" laws that come into being next season, that insist on book balancing if you want to participate in european competition. I suspect the whole thing is just a smokescreen to make the competition almost a closed shop, and smaller sides will be the ones to suffer. Would they be brave enough to prohibit a really big club, with all the TV money they bring in for UEFA itself?

It's a sad state of affairs when to be at the top you have to either make massive losses without a care, be in dept up to your neck, and/or engage in such complicated financial shenanagens that no-one really knows how or what's really yours. Well run clubs can't win....and that's why UEFA need to grow a pair and do something about it.

Cieza 3 Real Murcia 4

Last of the pre-season friendlies.

Real Murcia:
Molinero - Aguilera - Rodri - Oriol Lozano
Nico Varela - Pablo - Richi - Emilio Sánchez
Isaac - Kike García

We raced into a 0 - 4 lead after just 20 minutes. Rodri (2'), Kike García (4'), Isaac (10') and Emilio Sánchez (21') scoring. Then managed to let 3 in to make it close.

Next up (or not) is the away trip to Huelva for the first league game. I say not because it looks like being postponed as the LFP (the league) and the AFP (the players association) have failed to reach agreement over money for a fund for players who don't get paid by clubs (a surprisingly common practice in Spain), so the players are going on strike.

Monday, August 15, 2011

La Roda 3 Real Murcia 2

Penultimate pre season game at La Roda. It seems we took a 0 - 2 lead through Sutil and Kike, and should have had a few more against La Roda (recently promoted to segunda B). Their goals were from set pieces, so work needed there......the winning goal in injury time penalty given away by new keeper Javi Jimenez.....

Real Murcia :
Javi Jiménez
Molinero - Oriol - Amaya - Óscar Sánchez
Pedro (Isaac Jové, 81) - Richi (Pablo, 81) - Emilio Sánchez - Sutil
Kike - Chando (Aguilera, 81)

Last friendly game is against Cieza on Wednesday 17th.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Triangle.....

Real Murcia took the "7 Región de Murcia" triangular tournament last night, and deservedly so.

First up we played against Lorca with :

Mario Marín - Luciano - Rodri - Rubén Párraga (Óscar Sánchez 33')
Nico Varela - Juan Aguilera - Eddy - Pedro
Lionel - Kike García

So only Alberto, Kike, Pedro and Aguilera who could be considered from the first 11. Of the reserves Nico Varela on the wing has put down a marker in pre-season, he's busy, skilful and committed.....and may save Real the trouble of having to sign a player for that position as was the plan. Eddy crunches into tackles and makes good use of the ball....he's Eddy Vieira from now on. Kike continues to look very sharp indeed, Pedro a little lost and short of confidence. Parraga was on the wrong end of a bad tackle and may have a damaged knee. The result was never much in doubt once Pedro put Real ahead after being set up by Kike.

But the real action came when we faced Cartagena.

Molinero - Oriol - Iván Amaya - Óscar Sánchez
Isaac - Richi - Pablo - Sutil
Emilio Sánchez - Chando.

A much stronger line up. Cartagena came out looking strong, and dominated for the first 10 minutes or so, had a few corners, but without really threatening or having a shot. They were evidently wound-up for the game, making several reckless tackles. The game changed quickly once Real got hold of the ball. Emilio Sanchez controls midfield, is unfluttered, and seems to make his own space and time where there doesn't seem to be any. Sutil is a great signing....skillful, swift, direct...and ready to give as good as he gets. Even before Chando gave us the lead, we could have been 2 ahead....great team passing movements not getting the finishes they deserved. A Cartagena defence cock-up let Chando in, who finished calmly. After that Sutil hit the bar with a free-kick. Then the ref decided to get noticed and sent off a couple of Cartagena players, not really deserved, but there were only a couple of minutes remaining and they were not going to equalize....indeed they started to look quite downhearted and desperate even before the ref's intervention.

Cartagena have been most active in the transfer market, and have spent heavily. It must be very very worrying to be beaten by an austere Real Murcia, who are still to make more signings.

Real Murcia fans should be congratulated. Impeccable behaviour, despite the Cartagena supporters provocations and insults. The best way to answer the rabid insults was ignorance. They also goaded us...saying we were "four cats" (cuatro gatos) which is a typical spanish saying meaning you are very few. Evidently they couldn't see that their end was full to the rafters, as the photo below proves.

So a very very promising pre-season so far and more new arrivals to come. But let's keep our feet very firmly on the ground.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hércules 1 Real Murcia 1

Another game against a recently relegated (from Primera) team. This time comments are that Real Murcia dominated from start to finish, and were very unlucky not to beat a disappointing Hércules Alicante side.

We lined up in the first half with :

Mario Marín - Luciano - Oriol Lozano - Óscar Sánchez
Nico Varela - Pablo - Emilio Sánchez - Sutil
Kike García - Chando

Second half subs : Nuno Viveros (trialist), Richi, Aguilera, Isaac, Molinero, Iván Amaya, Rodri, Párraga and Pedro.

The game was played at Campoamor, about eqidistant from Alicante and Murcia. I hear, and if you were in any doubt as to which team has the best support in the area, that 90% of the attendence were wearing red.

Vamos Real Murcia!

Next up is a triangular on Tuesday in Lorca against the hosts and FC/CF/Balsicas/Cartagena/Cartagonova or whatever our noisy neighbours are calling themselves nowadays. Should be fun!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Almería 2 Real Murcia 2

This friendly was played in Lorca, all the gate money going towards earthquake relief (Lorca was severly damaged by 2 strong quakes on May 11th).

Real lined up in the first half with :

Molinero - Oriol - Amaya - Párraga
Richi - Aguilera - Nuno - Pedro
Emilio Sánchez - Kike

In the second half Isaac Jové, Mario Marín, Pablo, Chando, Nico, Luciano and Sutil came on.

Now this was a serious friendly against a decent Almeria outfit who must be one of the favorites for promotion. They were definately taking this game seriousely, as they only made a few substitutions and were almost what we could call a first 11, and made several over zealous tackles. Real Murcia were also almost a first 11, but with trialist Nuno on the right wing.....he didn't look out of place, but his contribution was limited and after a brutal over the top challenge didn't feature much, and was substituted at the break. We took the lead through a nice Kike finish after a great pass by Emilio Sanchez (who looks a good buy - controlled the midfield and always seemed to choose the right ball). Both Almeria goals were avoidable, the first was a bit of a gift...sloppy defending, and the second the ref missed a clear foul. Sutil came on...and had immediate impact, his good play obliging a defender to handle in the area, he took the pen, missed, but put the rebound away.

Think we are just a defender and a striker away form being very solid.

Now....solidarity with the people of Lorca, victims of the earthquakes. Back in May there were other benefit games...and at one of these we had people very upset at not being able to contribute, and a very full 33,000 capacity stadium. yesterday these same people could have contributed.....they chose not to. In's Madrid, Barcelona...or nothing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If You Visit Murcia, Don't Miss (REPEATED)...

I originally posted this a year ago......but just to remind you all....and I noticed he has a Real Murcia crest on the wall, so is deserving of any publicity!

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.

Signing : Paco SUTIL

Francisco Sutil (Jaén, 21/12/84) arrives on a 3 year contract from Real Sociedad. Sutil played 17 games and scored 2 goals for Sociedad in Primera last season. He plays on the left wing - so some good competition that may bring the best out of Pedro.