Finance, Foreigners and Ferengi
After many months of seeing his sulking son being brutally booed and bullied by fans and hacks alike, the big daddy of Valencia has stepped in to end the entertaining affair. Bautista Soler, father of club president Juan Bautista Soler, confirmed on Tuesday that his family will be flogging their 35% stake in the Mestalla madhouse for a cool 65 million euros, according to Marca. The man who will be taking on this footballing burden is former VP, Vicente Soriano, currently the second biggest shareholder at the club. Unfortunately, Soriano does not have that kind of cash lying around, so is going into the deal with a financial partner, Juan Villalonga. Villalonga - stop drifting off! - is the best buddy of former Spanish president JosÃÂ© Maria Aznar, according to an admiring Marca, and also ex-president of Telefonica. Not that the two could possibly have any link, of course. La Liga Loca already holds an intense dislike for what may be a perfectly nice man, as the blog - along with the rest of the country - is currently getting royally stitched up by Telefonica's internet costs. And the EU agrees, having fined the company $206 million dollars for breaking antitrust rules, back in July 2007 - second only in value to the punishment handed out to Microsoft. Should the deal go through, then the Bautista boys can pat each other on the back, having won next to nothing under their leadership, gone through 4 coaches, 5 sporting directors and increased the club's debt from 120m to 300m euros, according to El Pais. When and if Soriano takes over the club, then it could be either good or bad news for Ronald Koeman - depending on your point of few. Last year, the former Veep boasted that were he in charge at Valencia then the Dutchman would "last ten minutes. And Bakero (assistant coach) fifteen". On Tuesday, Koeman replied that, "ten minutes is long enough. If they want me, they want me. If they want me to go, I'll go. No problem". Especially, as he is sitting on a handy two and a half year contract. Marca seems to think that the deal is an excellent idea, saying that "Spanish football is beginning to globalise", despite the fact that the club's ownership could be moving from the hands of one extremely rich, powerful Spanish family to another extremely rich, powerful Spanish family. For all those interested in a cup competition that is rigged against the smaller clubs and has had all tension beaten out of it with a rolling pin, Valencia are in action in the first leg semi-final of the Copa del Rey against Barcelona, on Wednesday night. The second leg is sometime in June. It was Tuesday, yesterday, so Sevilla president JosÃÂ© Marie del Nido did his best to raise expectations of his club to an impossible level only to be cruelly disappointed by the harsh realities of football, just days later. "When we get a Champions League spot, it will very hard to move us from it", said the Ferengi doppelganger who also compared his club to a shell. But it could be a limpet. La Liga Loca's dictionary is far from sure. And its Spanish is far from good. Good news for Real Madrid fans. Marca's Roberto Gomez has found the root cause of his favourite club's current plight. "Guti and Gago can't play together. They are similar players. Almost identical", says the paper's finest freebie-loving writer. "No they're not", says everyone else. AS have flashed the not-that-exciting-really news on their front page that Real are interested in Spartak Moscow striker, Roman Pavlyuchenko. Having failed to lure Kaka to the Bernabeu, it appears Pedja fancies the footballing virtues of the 26 year old forward who has been top scorer in the Russian league over the past two seasons and stuck two past England, last October. Sport's "22 finals for Barcelona!", still rules supreme in La Liga Loca's "finals' top ten. Marca's rather disappointing effort on Tuesday claimed that AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid had four finals left. Must do better. And finally, in typical, stereotypical 'aren't foreigners funny style', Monday's La Liga Loca informed the good 442 readership of the Spanish tendency to reverse into traffic without looking. And this links rather snugly and smugly into the story concerning Manuel Ruiz de Lopera's vertigo-inspired vomit-fest. It appears that as the Betis big-wig was arriving at Seville's Santa Justa station, on Monday morning, to catch the train to meet the king, de Lopera reversed straight into another car, possibly causing his subsequent funny turn, speculates Marca. La Liga Loca loves it when a plan comes together.