After a week when John Travolta was hospitalised for suspected Covid-19 – doctors now confirm that it was only Saturday Night Fever and they assure everybody that he is Staying Alive, apparently he was diagnosed because he had chills that were multiplying! – Real Mallorca’s two upcoming games against Barcelona tonight and Villareal next Sunday have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The decision was originally to be that all games in La Liga Santander and La Segunda Smart Bank were to be played behind closed doors.
However, things were quickly changed on Thursday morning when it was announced that Real Madrid had activated the coronavirus protocol for both their football and basketball teams after a guy called Trey Thompkins tested positive for the disease.
Because there are areas at the Valdebebas training ground that are used by both teams, the complex was closed and everyone left instantly, being told not to come back for 15 days.
Under guidance from the Government, both La Liga and Spanish FA decided to suspend all matches for the remainder of this month and probably beyond.
This of course means that our much-anticipated game against Barcelona scheduled for tonight won’t go ahead.
A spokesperson for Real Mallorca said during the week that the cancellation was a huge financial blow for the Palma club and they stood to lose up to 450,000 euros in ticket money being reimbursed. All of this has come as a total shock to Mallorquinistas.
Real Mallorca supporters’ clubs put out a joint statement on Thursday saying they were totally in favour of the game being called off rather than be played behind closed doors, saying that Son Moix fans have a key function, giving the teams wings (like Red Bull!) and without fans it’s not football, it’s like an actor without an audience. Playing behind closed doors (which in my opinion is nonsense) makes the game look like a training session and it’s difficult for players to be motivated – you can even hear the ball being kicked.
I watched a game behind closed doors last Tuesday when Eibar lost 1-2 to Real Sociedad and the atmosphere was soulless.
If the same had happened in Palma tonight, thousands could have been in bars/restaurants surrounding the Son Moix and the close proximity of fans to each other would defeat the object. So what happens next in what has turned out to be a nightmare scenario?
UEFA yesterday announced the postponement of next week’s Champions League and Europa League games and are seriously considering calling off the Euros until the Summer of 2021.
The top five leagues in Europe (Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France) are desperate to find a solution on how and when to finish their respective league fixtures.
One suggestion put forward on a Spanish website said La Liga could be suspended. That beggars the question: who would be crowned champions, who would get the European places and who (arguably the most important in terms of financial impact) be relegated?
The season could be extended to July but that could prove difficult with high temperatures and players whose contracts expire in June.
The whole situation is a horrible and confusing mess and is easily the worst season I’ve ever witnessed in the 35 years I’ve been watching Real Mallorca.
Just what it does to the team’s morale when this nightmare comes to an end is anybody’s guess. The most frustrating part of it all is that there are too many unknowns to make any reliable predictions – much like the progress of the pandemic itself.
The next couple of months will determine where Real Madrid midfielder Takefusa Kubo, who is currently on a season-long loan at Real Mallorca, plays his football next term. There’s no doubt his game has come on leaps and bounds but nothing has been decided yet about what happens to him next. Much will depend on other Summer business that Real Madrid do in terms of loan and permanent deals.
The most logical option for next season, one Kubo will likely oppose, is to find the 18-year-old a loan move to another La Liga club who play a brand of football that suits his characteristics and preferably a team with European football participation. Last Summer there was virtually no chance of his staying and getting a game at Real Madrid. He went on pre-season and made the odd appearance for Castilla, the club’s B team.
However, La Liga restrictions on non European Union players (Madrid’s quota of three had already been filled), meant he would hardly have had a kick for Los Blancos. Depending on how this season pans out (if it ever does), Kubo could very possibly stay at the Son Moix next term. He’s admitted many times how much he’s enjoying his time here.
Kubo has become a huge favourite with the Son Moix faithful and there’s nothing they’d like better than for him to spend another season here.
AND FINALLY – Panic buying was in evidence earlier this week when I popped into a Valencia-based supermarket chain store in Gomilla on Wednesday morning. The place was heaving and it was like Christmas Eve as Dale’s Supermarket Sweep came to town.
Panic and greed had taken over as just about every comestible imaginable was snapped up and pushed into overflowing trolleys.
As I looked around, there was one shelf at the back that had hardly been visited.
Dozens of different coloured packets of Durex condoms lay untouched as the mostly female clientele grabbed their favourite foodstuffs. As I surveyed the scene one male shopper commented “There’s no fun left any more!”
PS Best quote regarding the current crisis : Can anyone give me the recipe for pasta and toilet roll bake? It must be a good one as people are buying all available stocks.