Coach Luis Garcia Plaza (C) is expecting a tough game

Coach Luis Garcia Plaza (C) is expecting a tough game.

13-09-2020MIQUEL A. BORRAS

After a week when “numpty Trumpty” said he felt blessed by God for having Covid-19 – I’ve had no side effects, in fact, I’ve had the best no side effects ever, I am the bestest no side-effects president ever!” – a depleted Real Mallorca play away at Galician side Lugo on Sunday at 12 midday after their scheduled Monday game was brought forward 24 hours. Coach Luis Garcia said at his Friday press conference that the change of day and kick-off time had disrupted the team’s build up to the game.

“I would not have given the players two days off if I’d known the schedule was going to be changed.” Lugo have had three consecutive defeats and Garcia reckons they’ll be waiting for us with a knife between their teeth – “They will come at us with everything they’ve got.”
Mallorca will be minus their international call up players Lago Junior, Valjent, Baba and Trajkovski, but should have enough left in the tank to come away with all three points!!!

The reason the game’s been changed is that the seemingly endless conflict between La Liga and the Spanish FA (RFEF) rumbles on unabated. Another chapter was written on Friday when three La Liga SmartBank games including ours were shunted backwards.

La Liga are adamant that games will be played on Mondays, however the RFEF is equally as clear that they won’t be authorised, once again making a laughing stock of Spanish football’s integrity. Friday and Monday games were deemed by fans as unsociable for family and work purposes in 2018.

With RFEF being responsible for referees and threatening to withdraw their services then La Liga had no choice but to back down. I would have thought that to schedule games on a fiesta day and with no fans being present wouldn’t have made any difference either way. This situation is likely to rumble on until a court hearing decides – oh what a tangled web they weave.

Mallorca's transfer window closed at midnight last Monday and 64% of polled fans have described the comings and goings as “interesting.” During the remote press conference our CEO, the boyish looking Alfonso Diaz said that the club had received a further 8 million euros worth of investment from various ownership groups meaning a total outlay of 42 million has been put into the club by our American owners over the past four years.

The capital increase demonstrates the owners’ long term commitment to Real Mallorca.
Diaz also said “16 million euros has been assumed from creditors to this total, meaning our squad can be improved on this season (in the January window) and next.” Surely now the trolls on social media will shut up with their comments about our American owners – they’ve been magnificent.

A couple of my arty farty friends and fellow socios of Real Mallorca attended a classical music concert the other week in Palma’s Trui theatre. The venue had around 200 people who were all masked up and socially distancing as the law requires. This has got me thinking – how can it be safer inside a theatre than if would be outside at a football match?

In the Son Moix, for example, with a 20,500 capacity there is loads of room to distance fans from each other. Or is it just the fact that theatre goers are treated differently? You don’t have to look far to see the extent to which all clubs, even in the second division pyramid, are going to in order to keep their staff and players safe. Son Moix could easily fit in a few thousand fans safely.

Yes, I understand the need for caution but with the correct health and safety protocol you can go out for dinner, have a few beers or go shopping, and now you can go to the cinema or theatre. If the problem is with the entry/exit points, for entry they could adopt airport-style zig-zag barriers to keep people queuing two metres apart, and on leaving, everyone could remain seated until their block of seat numbers is called to file out in an orderly manner.

As a passionate Real Mallorca fan of some 35 years standing, I want to get back into the Son Moix to watch the team play. When it does come to fruition, it’s going to be a different experience when we’re allowed back in with fans entering stadiums in a staggered process. We’ve been told Covid-19 doesn’t spread as effectively in outdoor settings so the authorities should be working on a system to let some of us back in.

Real Mallorca, like all football clubs in Spain, have lost a small fortune having no fans in the Son Moix. It just isn’t football without the crowds. Sometimes you remember the atmosphere at games at certain grounds better than the game itself. Spacing fans out in the Son Moix surely can’t be that much of a problem?

AND FINALLY

A farmer was out checking his land one day only to discover he had a gorilla in a tree. He called the local gorilla removal service (?!) and soon the gorilla catcher arrived with a stick, a pit-bull terrier, a pair of handcuffs and a shotgun.“Now listen carefully,” he told the farmer.
“I’m going to climb the tree and poke the gorilla with the stick until he falls to the ground. The trained pit-bull will then go right for his dangly bits and when the gorilla instinctively crosses his hands in front to protect himself, you slap on the handcuffs.” “Okay, got it,” said the farmer. “But what’s that shotgun for?” “Good question,” replied the gorilla catcher. “If perchance I fall out of the tree before the gorilla, shoot the pit-bull!!”

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