Real Mallorca Football Club suffered dire consequences on Sunday night when they and their supporters had a dagger thrust through their hearts as the team dropped into the Spanish footballing labyrinth known as Segunda B. The club now face total meltdown in every department as we say "adios" to professional football after 36 consecutive years.
In the penultimate weekend of another abject season in La Segunda, we could only draw 2-2 away at an already relegated side, Mirandes. In all honesty, the relegation writing was on the wall months ago, as we’ve failed miserably time and time again to put away goal opportunities due, in no uncertain terms, to the ineptitude of our director of football to bring in decent striking options. Everything from top to bottom will now be subject to Dickensian cuts as Real Mallorca will be barely recognisable next season apart from the red and black colours. As the most expensively assembled squad in the second division, all the players must take their share of the blame.
Just a few months ago the club celebrated their centennial anniversary, and now this once-famous team, who have always punched above their weight, is about to sink without trace. What happens next is anybody’s guess, with the American owners stating that they are here for the long term. One wonders now with the club having debts of around 25 million euros if they will keep to their word. There will be precious little revenue coming in next season and there won’t be any TV money. It’s a social disaster for the city of Palma and the island. We started the season with 8,000 members: that will probably be halved by August when new season tickets go on sale.
Our B team under Pep Galvez, and made up of young kids, did really well to stay in the Segunda B this season. With the senior team relegated, the B side who finished mid-table will now drop into the local Balearic league with many of the emerging young players set to leave. Pictures after the game showed general manager Maheta Molango and director of football Javier Recio at Mirandes with their heads bowed. I expect both of them to be on their way very shortly. Molango is a very likeable man but is a sports lawyer who knows absolutely nothing about running a football team that’s been unbalanced and low on confidence all season. My heart goes out to the 300 fans who made the trip to Mirandes only to be let down again.
As to the game, we were two down before making a late resurgence with goals from Culio and Lekic, but it was too little too late: we didn’t get the required win. I watched the game in a jam-packed Mallorcafé with some good Mallorca supporting friends. As fans poured out into the dark Palma night, many were in tears; they, like me, had thought the miracle was on.
We play a totally meaningless last game at home to Madrid side Getafe on Saturday. They need a point to be sure of a play-off place. As for Mallorca, they at least can go out with some sort of performance to appease what fans turn up.
Sad days indeed, but we have to start again and with yours truly now three-score years and ten, I wonder if I’ll ever see my beloved Real Mallorca back in La Liga again. Hope springs eternal.
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