Twenty-two year old midfielder Jose Manual Arias has joined Real Mallorca. | Real Mallorca

During a week when on Thursday Britain’s Sir Andy Murray took to the Centre Court at Wimbledon to face the big-serving American John Isner – several hours later Scotland’s Andy Murray had crashed out of the competition!! – Real Mallorca supporters are not well pleased about the increased prices for next season’s La Liga campaign. Just days before the pre-season starts, vociferous fans have taken to social media platforms to vent their feelings. “Absolute dissatisfaction” is one phrase being used about the price of the renewals and the new subscriptions, a rise also described as “disproportionate.”

An adult’s ticket in the old Sol Alta/Baja stand (now renamed “Tribuna Este, Lateral and Baja”) last season cost 315 euros to renew. Now that area ranges from 450 to 490 euros, and is under intense remodelling at the moment.

The lower level will see fans being only 7.5 metres from the pitch and the top level will see a cantilever stand to protect spectators from the sun and rain. There will also be around 12 new turnstiles installed, hopefully to avoid the long queues that formed on match days last season. New catering outlets are to be built and all seats are to be replaced.

No one welcomes price increases, and the decision to raise them hasn’t been taken lightly. In the face of rising costs the club needs to consolidate on their La Liga status as they continue to drive growth in all their revenue streams. Football ticket prices in most of the European leagues continue to spiral and aggrieved fans are rightly not happy about it.

There are 19 home games next season and a season ticket covers all these games plus Copa del Rey ties and B team games in Son Bibiloni.

Sadly lower income fans are likely to find buying tickets for other family members inhibiting but everything now in life sees prices rocketing out of sight. I remember in an interview a couple of years ago, Maheta Molango said it cost the club around three million euros to operate Son Moix on every match day. My renewal (37th year of watching Real Mallorca) cost me 335 euros to sit in the covered stand, which works out roughly to be an increase of 8 euros a game from last season.

Yes, prices are very expensive for a working family but we are far from being the most expensive season tickets in La Liga, in fact we’re in the medium zone.

Sadly fans are not allowed much say in modern football protocol. We have to put up with crazy dates and kick-off times now governed by the TV companies who rule to roost. Some of the other clubs’ season ticket prices in euros from cheapest to most expensive are: Cadiz 90/1325; Betis 360/1210; Celta 250/693; Getafe 95/490; Espanyol 300/1300; Girona 300/670; Mallorca 180/855; Elche 115/525; Osasuna 270/630.

With every passing day the anticipated signing of 28-year-old Kosovan striker Vedat Muriqi from Lazio seems more and more unlikely. He joined RCD Mallorca in the January transfer window on loan and immediately fitted in well, scoring five goals and providing three assists in 15 La Liga appearances. The work “El Pirata” as he became nicknamed by local fans, did all over the pitch was key in helping the Palma side to avoid relegation and things were looking up for Muriqi after a torrid time in Rome with Lazio.

It was reported earlier in the week that Mallorca had made an initial bid of 8 million euros (our limit), which was a long way off Lazio’s asking price of 11 million. In addition it’s been reported Lazio need to keep Muriqi a little longer if they want to take advantage of tax benefits as a result of something called The Growth Decree Law.

In order to cash in from this Growth Decree, Muriqi cannot be sold in Italy before 24 months and if he was then Lazio would have to return the taxes saved on the player. However, should he be sold abroad the Roman club would have to pay around 3.5 million euros. The expectation for now is that Muriqi will return to Rome in the next few days in order to join up with Lazio for pre-season training. Staying until the January transfer window is now a serious possibility.

Muriqi has been linked with a move to Turkish side Galatasaray, although it’s not clear if he’d join them considering his previous loyalty to Fenerbahce. There was a strong rumour doing the rounds on Thursday that English championship side Hull City were preparing a 12 million bid to bring Muriqi to the MKM stadium.

With uncertainty in mind, two striking replacements have been mentioned both with Turkish connections. One is a 30-year-old Turk, Sedar Dursun from Fenerbahce.

He’s valued at 5 million euros, played 32 games last season scoring 15 goals and supplying three assists.

The other is 24-year-old Egyptian Mostafa Mohamed who’s been playing for Galatasaray. Both these players are attacking options that have been on Mallorca’s radar and I’m sure director of football Pablo Ortells has a veritable cornucopia of names who would jump at the chance to play football here.

We’re also in competition with Rangers, Malmo FC, FC Copenhagen and Greek side Panathinaikis for 29-year-old Croatian striker Antonio Colak, who has been playing in Greek football with Paok Salonica, who recently signed our player Joan Sastre.

On Monday, Mallorca 2022/23 will go to the Son Bibiloni training ground to begin their pre-season training. Medical tests will be carried out on all players at a local clinic, then coach Javier Aguirre will put them through their paces.

Several players who’ve been out on loan will return but all are likely to be shipped back out again when the new campaign begins in the middle of next month.

Febas, Lago Junior, Mboula and Cufre will have to find another club, as will a striker called Alex Alegria who’s been the proverbial albatros around the club’s neck since 2019. Alegria earns one million euros a season and hasn’t scored a goal for 15 months since March 2021, despite going out on loan to Zaragoza, Burgos and Extremadura. Our then CEO Maheta Molango signed Alegria on a five-year contract in the Summer of 2019 in what has been a ruinous operation.

Another striker likely to be loaned out is the young American Matthew Hoppe. He landed in Mallorca on the last day of the 2021 Summer window. In the long term had his sights set on this year’s World Cup in Qatar but his playing time here has been practically non-existent. Neither Luis Garcia Plaza nor, at the end of last season, Javier Aguirre, have given him a chance to shine since he arrived from newly-relegated German side Schalke 04.

Last season the American played in five games coming on as a substitute in every one with just a few minutes left. In those few playing opportunities he didn’t score but he did lay on Kang In Lee’s only goal when we were “gubbed” 6-1 at Real Madrid. Hoppe had been a regular in the USA set-up but without having much match time his chances of making their Qatar squad seem remote.

Mentioning Kang In Lee, I see Dutch club Feyenoord are interested in the South Korean’s services for next season. Mallorca have set a price of 5 million euros for a player who was hot and cold last season.

One player has signed for the Palma side, putting pen to paper on Thursday. Twenty-two year old midfielder Jose Manual Arias, better known as “Copete” has arrived from second division outfit Ponferradina on a four-year deal. Several La Liga sides were chasing Copete’s signature but he said on his arrival “It’s a dream come true to play for a club like Real Mallorca and I look forward to the start of my first season in La Liga.”

PS Mallorca’s much-anticipated first home game against Real Betis will be on Saturday, August 20 at 19:30.

AND FINALLY, a classic from the attic. A woman takes her dog to the vet as it has an ear infection. The vet tells her to buy some hair removal cream from the pharmacy and when the hair is gone, wash the ear three times a day with Dettol.

As the chemist hands over the cream he tells the woman “You’ll be a bit tender after using this, so don’t wear long sleeves for a few days.” She tells him “It’s not for my underarms.” The chemist adds “Well don’t wear tight trousers for a while, then.” She replies “It’s not for my legs either.” “What’s it for then ?” “It’s for my schnauzer.” “Okay,” answers the chemist, “don’t ride your bike for a day or two!”