Maheta Molango is continuing for now.


Real Mallorca's general manager Maheta Molango and his sidekick director of football Javi Recio have been given a stay of execution after returning from a meeting with owner Robert Sarver and his associates in Phoenix, Arizona. This news won't go down well with Mallorca fans, so the pair have to redeem themselves after our relegation and there wasn't really anybody else in the frame (a) to take over the running of the club and (b) to take on the massive debts still outstanding.

The first job for Molango is to appoint a new coach and that looks likely to be 43-year-old Valencia-born Vicente Moreno, who's done a sterling job over the past two seasons at Nastic Taragona, taking them into the play-offs on a couple of occasions. We need someone who knows these lower leagues well and who isn't another “name” manager. Moreno looks to fit the bill perfectly. If he accepts, he will have a major say in what players will be coming in. The good news is that if Moreno accepts, then Lago Junior has stated he may want to stay. He played under Moreno at Nastic and has a lot of respect for him.

Real Mallorca are now in Segunda Division B, Spain's regionalised third tier where 80 teams are spread across four divisions, where there's virtually no money and where there's no longer direct promotion back up again even if you're 10 points ahead at the end. In theory the Segunda B is amateur-professional football and it's nicknamed the “well”. Falling into it is easy, climbing out is another matter entirely.

We'll now have no earnings of any type and the obligation to pay debts of seven million euros to outstanding creditors in November. But while that is important, the amount is dwarfed by that owed to the Hacienda (tax office), which amounts to 17 million euros. That will most likely see a pact between the tax agency and the club to prolong the debt to a date now to be agreed by both parties, which would give a breathing space to Robert Sarver's company which, in any case, will be obliged to make a capital expansion. What is clear is that the November financial problem will have to be resolved because the club has to survive the rest of the season.

With our relegation, income from TV rights (which was around six million last season) will disappear completely and the rights to publicity will be reduced to the minimum in a category with a very bad image. We will now, over the next few weeks, have a deep remodelling of the club's structure. Half our budget last season went on players - 5,150,000 euros - an amount impossible in the new category. The club will now have to refund the whole contract amount of players it doesn't want, and at least 20 players will leave.

Segunda B, or “Bronce” as they call it in Spain, is not governed by the LFP (Liga de Futbol Profesional) but by another entity called the Spanish Football Federation. It's divided into four regional groups of 20 teams, so basically there are 80 teams vying for four places in La Segunda. How do we find the four teams to be promoted? One easy way would be simply to promote the winner of each group. There are two drawbacks to that. First, the groups may not be evenly balanced so an outstanding second-place team may be passed over for a mediocre first place team. And second, with only the winner promoted, many teams in each group would be virtually eliminated from the race at Christmas leaving them precious little to play for.

Instead there's a post-season play-off that seems to work quite well. Four teams from each group make the play-offs. Each is seeded based on its finishing position within its group so there are four 1's, four 2's, four 3's and four 4's. The teams are then paired in two-game total goal series as follows: the 1's are drawn against each other, as are the 3's, while the 2's face the 4's. Then it works like this: the two match-ups involving 1's are direct qualifiers. The two winners are immediately promoted and the two losers are still not eliminated. They join the six winners of the 2-4 and 3-3 matches in (yes, you've guessed it) another play off. This system sounds really complicated but its idea is to reward the best teams and give as many sides as possible a chance. The four group winners still have a huge advantage, they get one free shot at promotion and even if they lose they can be promoted with two straight series wins. By contrast, the second, third and fourth place teams must win three straight series with no second chance.

Just to point out that Cadiz finished fourth in Group 3 (our likely destination with teams from Catalonia and Andalusia plus local sides At. Baleares and S.D. Formentera) last summer gaining promotion to La Segunda through this complicated system. After a bad start to the season, they went on a roll and tonight play the second leg play-off in Tenerife after taking a 1-0 home lead to the Canary Islands. It can be done if we get things spot on next season and most importantly if we all buy a season ticket which will probably cost around 50 euros.


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