Presidential probing in La Liga

If there are two men in Spain who definitely need to join Guti and Raul for a spot of R&R it's the Chuckle Brothers of La Liga, Ramón Calderón and Joan Laporta. Not that the comedy duo have worked particularly hard over the past nine months and deserve to be smeared in oil by busty beach babes. Instead, its because the paranoid presidential pair appear to be 'doing a Marcelino' and going a little bit doolally.Just a few weeks ago, the King of Catalunya was gibbering away in a TV interview about people "behind me" who were out to get him. But now it's Ramón Calderón's turn to come over all Mulder in an interview with Marca where he advised that the shadowy football figure of Florentino Pérez was the root cause of his recent institutional rumblings.

Calderón points an accusatory finger at former president Pérez

This was no ordinary interview with the Spanish press for the Real Madrid big wig. A grilling from AS mainly consists of Tomás Roncero panting like a puppy and asking how Calderón gets his hair so soft. But on this occasion, Marca had gathered questions from its readers and there were some corkers hurled in Ramon's general direction. Why were you fooled by 'Nicholas Cage'? Why didn't you resign after failing to sign Robben, Cesc and Kaka? Do you think it's normal that there are more private boxes now? Don't you think a league title is not a great deal to show for all the money spent? But the most interesting queries concerned the recent rebellious rejection of the proposed changes to the club's statutes at a raucous AGM. And Calderón feels the problematic poke of Florentino Pérez' frustrated finger as the root cause of the revolution."They (the 'rebels') were directly linked to the ex-president, Pérez. They were his sons, his brothers and his right hand man Manuel Redondo." Calderón also claimed that he was not elected because of his promise to bring Kaka to the Bernabeu, but instead "the Real Madrid member is much cleverer. They don't vote for anyone because of the signing of a player."

The Real Madrid president later revealed that the club's debt had risen 40% to 240 million euros under his stewardship, but argued that income had doubled. And there were quite a few dissenting voices over the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo - on a financial and a team morale level. One of those voices over the past few days has been Carlos Queiroz, who is still a little raw over his experience at the helm of Real Madrid and has been tremendously insane in his attacks on the general Spanish populace.And this has very much upset AS' Tomas Roncero who said Queiroz should pay more respect to a club that "paid him to the last euro of his contract despite his disaster in the league, Europe and Copa del Rey." Instead AS' top man thinks that he should be more like Big Phil Scolari who said that Ronaldo should take the opportunity to go to Madrid. "Scolari has shown himself to be a gentleman," gushed Roncero redefining the word 'gentleman' to mean 'agreeing with AS.'

Joan Laporta has launched his defence against the campaign that aims to see him turfed out of the Camp Nou and beginning his political career a little earlier than he may have planned."Barcelona is much better that when we took over in 2003," claimed Laporta over the weekend. "We are convinced that the balance of management in these five years is good."

Laporta: Struggling to hold on to the Camp Nou hot-seat 

And Laporta supported the petition that could force a referendum on his presidency as "an example of our democratic culture" - the kind of culture where a judge had to intervene to force Laporta to call elections back in the summer of 2006.Sport, meanwhile, is reporting the story that fans are receiving calls from polling companies asking whether they would vote for two of Laporta's possible rivals if a new election were held - Sandro Rossell or Ferran Soriano. It looks like Laporta's holidays may be a long time in coming.

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