After a week when it was announced that entertainer Michael Barrymore is to make his TV comeback on Dancing on Ice – that should be a doddle for him as he’s been skating on thin ice for 18 years! – Real Mallorca play the first of three games in a week when they face Getafe in the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium at 12 noon on Sunday.
The Madrid side, who are one point behind us on three, have yet to win a game this season, drawing three and losing the other.
It’s Mallorca’s first visit to Getafe since they lost 1-0 in 2012. Getafe had a home win (1-0) in the Europa League against Turkish outfit Trabzonspor on Thursday and only lost five games at home all last season.
After four games Mallorca find themselves in a position many fans would be happy to see us in come the end of the season – 17th! There’s still a worry about our lack of goals but we’ve been really unlucky and that surely will change. We hit the post against Real Sociedad, hit the goal frame twice away at Valencia and hit the “palo” again against At. Bilbao. In none of these games did we look overawed or overrun, and we’ve given a good account of ourselves in all four league outings so far this season.
We’ve conceded four goals, from three set pieces (two penalties and a corner) plus a counter attack. The games are now coming thick and fast as we face three matches in a week, starting today.
Then a HUGE fixture on Wednesday night in the Son Moix, kick off 7 pm against Atletico Madrid – get there early to avoid parking disappointment. Then we’re away at Alaves on Sunday 24 at 4 pm followed by Espanyol in Palma on Sunday October 6 at 12 noon.
Some team called Real Madrid (!!) arrive on the island on Saturday, October 19, kick off 9 pm.
That game is played on the same day as Rafa Nadal’s nuptials up in Puerto Pollensa, so both he and Real’s president, Florentino Perez, could be leaving the knees up in La Fortaleza early – not!
Incidentally, if Zinedine Zidane (who appears to have lost his Midas touch of late) is sacked before the end of the season, he stands to get an eye-watering 80 million euro pay off!!
In other news, my spies tell me all is not well between our American billionaire owner Robert Sarver and the landlords of the Son Moix, Palma City Council. The story came to a head when it was announced that Segunda B near neighbours, Atletico Baleares, had received monetary help from Palma Council during stadium renovations of their ground on the Via Cintura.
The said council, who also own Atletico’s ground, contributed half a million euros towards a new grass playing surface and brand new state-of-the-art floodlights. Real Mallorca have been waiting for years for approval of their plans to remove the Son Moix running track and turn it into a proper football stadium.
The club have lost count of the number of visits they’ve made to City Hall to meet with local dignitaries to thrash out a deal, they keep dragging their heels. Sarver is not the kind of man to hang about for the go ahead. He took on the City Council in Phoenix Arizona where he owns NBA basketball giants The Suns. He threatened to move the club out of the city vicinity if the council didn’t help towards the refurbishment of the Talking Stick arena, which they eventually did.
Other projects await approval from the Palma Council. Permission is needed to house 20 young players in new accommodation at the Son Bibiloni training ground. Also awaited is a licence for the stand there which had to be modified. The third and most important item on the waiting list is the sale of the old Luis Sitjar ground in Es Forti.
The club want to move on after agreement was reached with the council about a year ago – since then nothing. Sarver doesn’t HAGGLE, he doesn’t want money either, he wants rid of his frustrations and to invest in the Son Moix project.
Somehow Atletico Baleares jumped the queue and opened up their new ground a month ago. Sarver also doesn’t understand why a club with the present standing of Real Mallorca, with the greater social mass budget and global impact, isn’t being treated properly by the local authorities.
He doesn’t feel comfortable in somebody else’s stadium and is threatening to go ahead and build a new ground outside of the Palma council’s jurisdiction. The worst case scenario could be that, if Sarver doesn’t get satisfaction soon, he may use the option of selling the club, especially now we’re in one of the highest echelons of European club football. He’s very happy with his European soccer adventure. However, the treatment being handed out by the stadium owners is, for him, not acceptable. After all, he’s not asking for money or subsidies, just political interest and fair consideration of justifiable applications for improvements.
PS The match fixing trial involving the Levante/Zaragoza game in 2011 continues in Madrid. Last week the then Levante boss, Luis Garcia, was summoned to appear. He flew 9,100 kilometres from China, where he now works, and sat in the witness box for 12 minutes. He said one word, “No!”
AND FINALLY, news broke on Monday that a white bird (feathered variety!) has been hanging around outside Cher’s house in Hollywood. It seems she leaves a slice of bread on the grass every night for it to peck on when she goes to bed. On Friday it rained so heavily that the piece of bread disintegrated so the bird couldn’t eat it. Cher was distraught as she had no other bread to feed the bird with. In a blind panic, she called her neighbour Meatloaf. He suggested trying to squeeze what’s left of the bread to remove most of the moisture. Now, he’s a real bread wringer for dove – I’m here all week!!
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