Real Mallorca, unusually, play on Monday when they face Zaragoza at the Son Moix at 9pm. The Palma side are going for their third win on the bounce for the first time this season. The visitors are just outside the relegation area but will still be difficult opponents. Mallorca, on the other hand, had a fantastic 2-1 win at Las Palmas which saw them claw their way back into the sixth and last play-off place. On Friday night then-third-placed Deportivo (who haven’t won at home in five games) could only draw 0-0 with Almeria. A Mallorca win tomorrow gets them really into the top six mix. We’ve now accumulated 48 points from 30 games which equals the points total we had when going down at the end of the 2014/15 season.
The Monday night time-slot has proved unequivocally unpopular in Spain with demonstrations taking place at many grounds, including one expected at the Son on Monday. The good news is that from next season there won’t be any more Monday games; they’ll be replaced with a 2pm Sunday match. Mallorca fans have been asked on social media by the newly-formed Moviment Mallorquinista supporters club to stage a demonstration by entering the ground six minutes after the initial whistle and in the 12th minute we all turn our backs to the pitch to reiterate our feelings and chant “Tebas...” (the president of La Liga) “...vete ja” (go now).
The message from Moviment said “Playing football on a Monday night is a crime with many fans unable to make it through work commitments plus children and students can’t attend as they have studies the following day. La Liga are more concerned about lining their pockets with broadcasting money and disregard the fans who actually turn up and cheer on their favourites.” We have it easy, Zaragoza’s next three games are all on a Monday. Their fans are really not happy.
At the team’s annual photo shoot in an Air Europa hangar at Palma airport on Thursday, general manager Maheta Molango was asked again about the future of our coach Vicente Moreno as rumours about him moving on in the summer emerged in the local press. Molango said the coach and the club were like a happy marriage. He went on: “I congratulate the team on their efforts this season and we’re doing so much better than the other three sides who were promoted from Segunda B last summer, Elche, Extremadura and Rayo Majadahonda. He also said last Sunday’s win in Las Palmas was like going to Old Trafford and getting a result.”
Next season, vital TV revenue would soar if we made it into La Liga. At present we get six million euros from TV companies, but in La Liga it would be anything from 43-46 million euros. Compare that to the pittance (80,000 Euros) we got last term in Segunda B. That huge increase would help the club to pay off its remaining debts and to buy stronger squad players.
The subject of new players coming in the summer is about to take centre stage. No other striker signed in the January transfer window in either of the top two Spanish leagues has made a bigger impact than the on-loan Ante Budimir, who’s scored four goals in 607 minutes. With that in mind, it was Mallorca’s intention to sign him permanently from Italian second division strugglers Crotone.
Budimir has become the fans’ hero in the short time he’s been here and has turned into the No. 9 (although he wears 22) we’ve been waiting years for. The Croat has adapted quickly to Spanish football with his goals and assists, and there’s no doubt the club were interested in his signature for next season but that idea has been scuppered for the time being. Turns out Crotone have seen how well he’s doing here and his initial price tag of just over one million euros has now gone up to around five million euros. Because of strict financial restraints involving all teams in La Segunda, no team is allowed to spend that kind of money on players. Mallorca now have to think of another way to get “Budi” here permanently next season.
After Zaragoza, Mallorca are away at second-bottom Cordoba next Sunday. We have no game the following weekend with Reus now out of La Segunda, which means we get an automatic three points.