Real Mallorca play away in Madrid on Sunday at 5pm when they face Leganes who, at home, have played five, won two and drawn three. They’re equal on points with us, 12, and in the corresponding fixture last season we lost at the Butarque stadium 3-1.
Coach “Chapi” Ferrer is forced to make at least one change as Yuste is suspended and it’s a toss up between two local boys, Tia Sastre and Damia Sabater, to see which one will start. However, the big story coming out of the Son Moix this past week was the news that Real Mallorca are to get a 20 million euro cash injection at the end of November after various sponsors have come on board to join in president/owner Utz Claassen’s ambitious plans in this, the club’s centenary year.
According to one website I came across, the German office furniture company Assman Büromöbel (rather an unfortunate first name!) are allegedly now a sponsor of Real Mallorca. Our board of directors on Thursday approved the increase which was made public on the club’s website.
This fantastic news is like a breath of fresh air to everyone concerned with the fortunes of our local professional football team, which in a few weeks time will be the most financial structured club in the Spanish second division and better off than several La Primera outfits. It’s clear with this injection of capital Utz Claassen wants to get Mallorca back to the top flight of Spanish football as quickly as possible, hopefully gaining automatic promotion in May. It also means that in the January transfer window, if the coach desires, better quality players will be brought in in key positions. These acquisitions could be vital in the second half of the season, especially if our goalscoring tally doesn’t improve. However, at the usual pre-match press conference on Friday, Ferrer said he thought the present squad was good enough to do the job.
The amount injected will also serve to make all areas of the club more professional, giving Real Mallorca new momentum, as well as kick-starting stadium improvements and most importantly reducing debt. The main difference between the German entrepreneur and the previous regime is that he’s put his hand in his pocket whilst the others before him were less known for their benevolence and spent more time at each other’s throats.
It is of course good news for the long-suffering fans who’ve had a tempestuous three years watching their favourites playing in the doldrums of Spanish football. It’s bad news though for all those who criticised Claassen taking over, calling him the Spanish equivalent of “all mouth and trousers”; in other words, he’s put his money where his mouth is. For all his eccentricities, Herr Claassen and his team have taken time working out a plan to reorganise a club crippled and almost destroyed by in-fighting and greed. Now all that’s missing is for “his” Real Mallorca to acquire the habit of winning on a regular basis. Asked if the capital injection meant he could be selling his shares, he categorically denied any thoughts of that, saying his dream is to get Real Mallorca into the Champions League. After that’s achieved, who knows what he’ll do next?
Reading through the reactions to the money injection news yesterday, the majority of local journalists were in favour but, unbelievably, there are still a few sceptics.
Too risky to predict
After ten games in the second division, it’s way too risky to predict who’ll be in the top six come next May. It seems highly unlikely that the present league leaders Osasuna and Cordoba will be in La Liga next season and the same could be said at the other end where Almeria (the surprise bottom team) are in Segunda “B” after being relegated from La Liga.
Spain’s La Segunda is the craziest league in European football. Some people (complete muppets) are already writing off our chances of promotion with 32 games still to play. We’re now unbeaten in our last four games, taking eight points from a possible twelve. That leaves us outside the disaster position and not far from the privileged top teams. Mallorca are only four points from sixth position which would put us in a play-off place or, even better, seven from direct promotion.
For the optimistic amongst us, no team has gone up after being in a promotion position after just ten games. In 2013/14 at this stage of the season, the eventual champions Eibar were 16th on thirteen points, one more than we are now, and in 2014/15 Real Betis were seventh on 17 points. At this time in a long campaign we need one thing most football supporters (me included) have precious little of – patience!