Zombies, bouncers, shooters & a sea-lion

When last mentioning the Segunda-bound Real Betis in blog dispatches, La Liga Loca made the rather snooty suggestion that only a couple of lagered-up flamenco singers and some confused tourists would be participating in the march against club owner Darth Manuel Ruiz de Lopera.

For the kerzillionth time, the blog was shown to be quite wrong in its prediction.

An admirable 60,000 turned up in their green-and-white shirts to defy Darth’s zombie army and offer unrepeatable suggestions as to what Don Manuel could do with his club.

But since then, things seemed to have quietened a little in Seville. This is partly due to the fact that it is simply too hot to do anything down in Andalusia for the next three months, never mind go on a march.

However, many Betis fans may be thinking that there's no reason a club run by lobotomised loons can't get promoted to the Primera. After all, it happened last season for their fellow Andalusians Xerez.

Before becoming the newest champions of the second division ahead of Tenerife and Zaragoza, Xerez first announced their name to the wide world of sport when club president Joaquín Bilbao was arrested.

This being Andalusia, it was never going to be for something like tax-evasion or book-fiddling. Oh no.

Instead, Bilbao was nicked after a big night out that involved an ill-advised punch-up with a Russian bouncer and busting some caps into the door of a 'gentleman’s establishment' that had closed for the night.

"Yer name's not dahn... 'EE'S GOT A SHOOTAH!!"

Fortunately for Joaquín, his driver took the rap for the shooting business, but the global attention and a night behind bars meant that El Presidente was forced to step down from his role at the club.

Xerez then joined the ever-growing list of Spanish sides that have been unable to pay their players, but still managed somehow to finish top of the league and win promotion to the top flight for the first time in the club’s history.

Sadly it is likely to be a short stay, as Xerez have rather carelessly just lost the man who got them there.

After only being offered a one-year contract extension and a transfer kitty the size of Maniche’s brain, Esteban Vigo this week told his bosses to spin on it and moved back to the second division to manage the brilliantly-named Hercules.

Their own manager, former Real Madrid player Juan Carlos Mandía, has moved to Racing Santander.

That’s because the annoyingly long-named Juan Ramón López Muñiz has gone back to his former club, Málaga.

And that’s because their former boss Antonio Tapia has gone on to manage Betis.

While La Liga Loca was initially a little bit sad to see the back of Betis, it is now looking forward to spending the year with a club whose news-making prowess already includes brothels, drive-bys, economic meltdowns and losing managers before the season begins.

But there is one more addition to the story that could make La Liga Loca so happy it barks like a sea-lion.

Xerez are exploring the possibility of inviting one of their former coaches to take over the reins... a certain Bernado Schuster.

The blog is prepared to start a whip-round to make it happen.

*You can catch the more telegenic half of La Liga Loca on pundit duty on Real Madrid TV on Tuesday night from 19.00 UK time for their live coverage of Kaká’s presentation. Sky Digital channel 446.


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