The Peasants are Revolting at Levante
For those of you who assumed that the life of a professional footballer was a baffling blur of hot tubs and high jinks, then hang your heads in shame and go stand in the corner.
Unless you had Patrick Kluivert in mind. Or anyone who is playing for has ever played for Valencia. Then it's fair do's.
But for the rest of you, please throw away your previous prejudices to contemplate the pecuniary plight of the paupers of Levante Ã¢ÂÂ a team of footballers who are rock bottom of the Primera, the butt of nearly every joke in Spain and suffering all these slights for zero cash.
After months of broken promises from the club's owner over the payment - or lack of it - for their footballing services, the patience of the Levante squad finally snapped, last Friday, when they all squeezed into the press room and thrust a scribbled statement into the hands of club captain, IÃÂ±aki Descarga, who duly read it to the gathered hacks.
The defender revealed that the players were still owed 60/80% of their salaries from last season, 85% from this one and 100% of their win bonuses Ã¢ÂÂ a total that is not going to be a significant sum of money, one imagines.
The squad has suffered "extreme family problems, frozen bank accounts and accounts in the red," complained Descarga, who also revealed that one member of the youth team was forced to sell his car so he could feed himself.
Levante majority shareholder, Pedro 'Scrooge' Villarroel Ã¢ÂÂ a man who is unlikely to be short of a euro or two Ã¢ÂÂ has one week to cough up the cash or direct action will be taken by his peed-off players. One senses a charity record in the offing, perhaps.
The Evil Tour
Former Athletic Bilbao and Spain coach, Javier Clemente, is continuing his managerial tour of the Axis of Evil and used-to-be evil countries.
Having been dumped by Serbia for failing to qualify them for Euro 2008, the man who is to diplomacy what Donald Rumsfeld is to human rights, has been courted for some time by Iran to lead them to the 2010 World Cup.
And after weeks of rumination, Clemente has said 'yes' to the job offer after agreeing with the Iranian FA that he does not have to live in Tehran and can watch DVDs from his house in Bilbao, despite the original demand from the federation president, Ali Kafashian that, "Clemente would have the right to leave Iran twice a year."
"Don't ask me anything about Iran," shrugged Clemente in El Pais when confirming his appointment, "as all I saw was a hotel, the federation HQ, the ambassador's reception and a shopping centre where I had a beer."
The Camp Nou car boot sale
Marca's crack team of futurologists spent Monday in front of a white board trying to predict who will be leaving the Camp Nou come the summer.
They have plumped for the out of contract Pinto, Sylvinho, Edmilson, Thuram and Ezquerro being sent to a car boot sale in a grand give-away. Also on their way out will be Ronaldinho, Deco, Zambrotta, Oleguer, Gudjohnsen and Giovani.
Meanwhile, Barcelona based Sport are still in deep depression over the current culÃÂ© crisis. "We can't obsess over what Real Madrid are doing," wrote Josep Maria Casanovas in Tuesday's editorial, "we have to worry about Barcelona not making anymore mistakes."
Guti for Spain! And Raul! And... yawn
The expected 'Guti and Raul for Spain!' clamour has begun with the tedious inevitability of being offered a ham and cheese sandwich in a Spanish cafÃÂ©.
"When I see Spain play, I feel jealous I'm not there enjoying it," revealed the newly-gingered Guti.
Exclusive: Robben can't run
The boffins in Castle Greyskull have completed their dissection of Arjen Robben and are confident that they have found the root cause of his complete lack of physical well-being.
"Robben doesn't run well, he has a mechanical problem," revealed one egg head in El Pais, who advised that the Dutchman runs too much on his heels Ã¢ÂÂ something that Chelsea never spotted.
Madrid derby Ã¢ÂÂ the flat version
Roberto Gomez, writing in Marca, has no time for such tedious talk as he is busy flogging his journalistic services to another one of his business buddies.
His latest escapade is an attempt to help out his millionaire construction magnate mate, Francisco Hernando, to organise a friendly between Real Madrid and AtlÃÂ©tico Ã¢ÂÂ two fairly busy clubs Ã¢ÂÂ to celebrate the building of a whopping 13,500 flats near Toledo, to the south of the capital.
"He has a value of 60 million euros, a fleet of planes and wants to promote urbanisation and encourage buyers," boasts Gomez to justify why the two teams should play a game on a training ground next to what will surely become Spain's biggest eyesore.