Against Cordoba, Real Mallorca players only turned up in the final five minutes. | Miquel A. Borras


Real Mallorca's relegation woes worsened on Sunday night as they fell to a damaging one-nil defeat at the hands of play-off-chasing Cordoba. A goal from ex-Atlètic Balears player, the Romanian Florin Andone, on the half hour mark sealed our fate as we rolled over and had our belly tickled by a Cordoba side coached by ex-Mallorca boss Jose Luis Oltra, who were yards faster than us and looked dangerous every time they attacked. What made this capitulation all the more frustrating was the fact that Mallorca had a real go in the last five minutes – why couldn't they do that for the other 85 minutes? We had to win this game to stay in La Segunda but I'm afraid strolling to take corners and the lack of any willingness to fight was pitiful to watch.

The tension on Sunday night was almost unbearable in a season that has turned into a humiliating case study of coaching mismanagement that has left us in our worst playing form for over 40 years. After Sunday's reversal, Fernando Vazquez's team fell further towards the La Segunda B quicksands and we now have to rely on other teams doing us favours next Saturday. Mallorca must beat Valladolid: any other scenario is our death warrant. We somehow this season have spent more money on players and salaries and have gone backwards as a football team. Mallorca fans are quite rightly furious. We've tried to get behind the team and we all were willing to believe things were going to change but all we're left with is bitterness, anger and regret.

Cordoba were a quick outfit and caused our defence and particularly Hector Yuste and Lucas Aveldaño all sorts of trouble. Their goal was on the cards and the ease with which Andone slotted in the opener looked ominous at the interval. Vazquez brought on Brandon Thomas at half time and there was a slight improvement but we still didn't look like drawing level. Ortuño up front for Mallorca took on the carthorse role for most of the game although he did rattle the crossbar near the end.

It all kicked off at the end, players were involved in a fracas which carried on into the tunnel as the referee lost control, sending off the Cordoba coach and our ground security chief, Tony Tugores. The whole thing was a nightmare.

SUMMING UP: A traumatic season is almost over for Real Mallorca, pending a miracle next Saturday. I've had a season ticket at the Palma club since August 1985 and I've seen the team go through some pretty traumatic spells but none of them comes even close to the predicament they're in now.

The spectre of relegation has hung over the Son Moix for most of this season after a summer advertising campaign in which this, our centennial year was allegedly to be a bit special. The slogan “tu puges” (going up) became predominant and as usual we fans took it all on board and expected the season to be pretty straightforward. New owners promising everything under the sun lifted the spirits. There was a flurry of transfer activity as director of football, Miguel Angel Nadal, went to work. Given the full backing of German president/chief shareholder Utz Claassen, it appears Nadal could do no wrong. One of his best pals, Albert “Chapi” Ferrer, came in as coach to herald this new era in the history of Real Mallorca and optimism was high. Results under the ultra-defensive coach were poor, we leaked goals like a sieve and at the other end sticking a ball in the net became a problem. Ferrer was sacked. The January transfer window opened with new American owners, new investment, new hopes and dreams, and at times it was hard to keep track.

We've once again had to endure rather than enjoy a shocking season and we've been let down once again by those who run the club as well as those who play for it.

Mallorca entered the relegation bottom four after all the results came through on Sunday night. Almeria beat Mirandes 2-1 and Tenerife drew 1-1 with Ponferradina. Both Almeria and Ponferradina are on 47 points and Mallorca have 46. Next Saturday all the games kick off at 8.30pm with Mallorca travelling to (nothing to play for) Valladolid. Let's hope they are already on the beach, otherwise it's curtains for this once proud club.