Anybody wanna buy a Betis?

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For the past couple of seasons, Betis majority shareholder and imperial overlord Darth de Lopera has been a bit of a tease.

On a number of occasions he has flirted with the idea of selling off his stake – in the non-vampire sense of the world – and swanning out of Seville.

But in the end, De Lopera has played the Goldilocks (as portrayed by a geriatric Christopher Walken) and branded potential new owners as unsuitable to lead Betis out of the 19th Century and into a bright new future of ‘electricity’ and ‘telephonic communication’.

In the past, suitors have been dismissed as being not Betico enough, too Betico, having weird hair, not being Spanish, having funny names, not liking Liberace and having a penchant for obeying tax laws (for legal reasons, La Liga Loca would like to note that some of these excuses have been completely made up).

Liberace: possibly popular in Seville

Over the summer, Betis fans were given their brightest hope yet that the club's reins would be handed to someone slightly sane – a consortium called BSport. Unfortunately, no one has much of a clue who these mysterious folk may be, as they are afraid of coming out of the shadows – perhaps quite literally – until a deal is struck.

Well, they're running out of time. Marca is reporting that unless the t's are dotted and the i's are crossed by Saturday October 4 and bin-bags stuffed with cash are handed over to de Lopera, then the big buy-out is off. In that event, continues Marca, the consortium may have to give Darth Manuel a whopping 10 million Euros in penalty fees.

This is exactly how most Beticos must have been expecting the whole affair to pan out. In one week’s time, they look set to be stuck with the same crumbling stadium, the same gym that hasn’t been updated in 10 years, the same lack of medical facilities that forced Edu to head to Valencia for treatment, and the same owner – albeit one who could be considerably richer.

Meanwhile, for those keeping track of the Barcelona Blame-o-Meter after Saturday’s Catalan catastrophe, the latest news is that the needle is doddering around in as confused a manner as Sarah Palin attempting a paint-by-numbers.

"A who in the what now?"

The Boixos Nois have thrown their hooligan hats into the ring by blaming pretty much everyone for Saturday night’s mayhem except themselves. The one member of the Ultra group able to handle basic literacy tasks had a go on daddy’s laptop on Tuesday to issue a statement.

The misspelled missive says that it was all the fault of Espanyol security for not strip-searching them when going into the stadium. “The frisking was non-existent,” tutted the statement.

It then went on to comment that flares were only lobbed onto the heads of the poor Pericos after the visitors' arrival at the ground was met with flying objects from the home support.

Pep Guardiola has joined in with the debate by arguing – not unreasonably – that “the blame is not Barça’s, nor Espanyol’s. It’s the fault of those who threw the flares”. Spanish minister of culture and sport Mercedes Cabrera has also waded in by suggesting that everyone in Spain should be pointing fingers at themselves in a reproachful manner. “There is a collective responsibility,” she noted.

Sport appeared to have recovered from a two-day aberration during which some thoughtful editorial pieces were written on the events of the weekend.

Normal service is resumed in Wednesday's paper with the scowling Lluis Mascaró giving Barcelona some moral support ahead of their Champions League clash against Shakhtar by writing that “they play as a team. With a system. With tactics and a strategy. They play with ambition”.

But that’s not all. Oh no. Mascaró also boasts that there have been “11 shots against Valdés in just five games, and this shows great defensive work”. The problem here is that six of them have gone in. But Sport never like to let facts get in the way of a good story. And let’s face it, nor does La Liga Loca.

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