Mallorca's UEFA ban harsh but fair
If the legal defense of Ã¢ÂÂbut itÃ¢ÂÂs not fair!Ã¢ÂÂ was a valid argument then La Liga Loca would never have had to flee England so swiftly after that Waitrose cheese-rage incident. The blog may even have gotten its yacht back. Stupid judges.
And Mallorca would have been taking part in this yearÃ¢ÂÂs Europa League competition instead of being turfed out personally by UEFA boss Michel Platini - if you were to believe some aspects of the Spanish press anyway - for going into administration over the summer.
For a fair few seasons now the Balearic club had been teetering on the edge of financial oblivion like Cristiano Ronaldo contemplating an ill-advised fling (of the edge-of-the-box variety, of course), but they finally hurled themselves into the pit of doom at the end of the last campaign - a campaign that was one of the clubÃ¢ÂÂs best ever with Mallorca finishing the year in fifth, but so very nearly in the Champions League places.
However, UEFAÃ¢ÂÂs Control and Disciplinary Body has said that rules are rules and decreed that Mallorca do not fit their admissions criteria due to the whole administration issue. As a statute it is a completely fair one that has the aim of persuading clubs to attempt to live within their means - a half-hearted attempt anyway - and to not let them gain an advantage over other clubs by purchasing that striker they canÃ¢ÂÂt really afford or flipping the bird to everyone they owe money to (Athletic Bilbao and Aritz Aduriz, in Mallorca's case).
Ironically, Mallorca managed their fifth-placed finish having barely spent a penny and owed their success due to astonishing home form, the brilliance of former manager Gregorio Manzano and the general incompetence of nearly every other side in la Primera last season. Instead, Mallorca has been appallingly run for years now, suffering boardroom change after boardroom change.
Despite the UEFA regulations being fairly clear, Mallorca are spitting mad about the decision and have launched a formal appeal to UEFA, organised a march by supporters to the HQ of the Balearic FA with a big banner - not that they have anything to do with the matter, really - as well as penned a letter to Platini asking that UEFA change their decision, something thatÃ¢ÂÂs never going to happen in a billion years.
MallorcaÃ¢ÂÂs only defense is that the decision isnÃ¢ÂÂt fair and it fundamentally reflects how seriously UEFA take clubs going into administration, especially compared to the laissez-faire Ã¢ÂÂWhatÃ¢ÂÂs a bankruptcy between friends?Ã¢ÂÂ attitude in Spanish football, which doesn't have a penalty points system to punish the naughtiest of teams and merrily allows clubs to screw each other over by failing to keep up with transfer payments.
The island clubÃ¢ÂÂs other Ã¢ÂÂwaffer-thinÃ¢ÂÂ argument is that Mallorca is now under different management after a recent buy-out lead by Mallorca-born former BarÃÂ§a coach, Serra Ferrer, and should be treated differently. However the side are still going through SpainÃ¢ÂÂs equivalent of an administration process and are currently unable to sign any players despite money having been received from the sale of Aduriz to Valencia.
Marca have joined big-armed Mallorca fan Rafa Nadal - nephew of Miguel Angel, a member of the new consortium - to complain about UEFAÃ¢ÂÂs stance, with the paperÃ¢ÂÂs editorial crying that Ã¢ÂÂitÃ¢ÂÂs like denying help to someone who is about to drown.Ã¢ÂÂ Which it isnÃ¢ÂÂt. At all.
The campaign continues Spanish footballÃ¢ÂÂs feeling that UEFA - and by extension the interchangeable FIFA - are out to get the game in Spain by handing AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid a one-match closed-doors stadium ban two years ago in the Champions League and by failing to award the national side enough penalties during the World Cup.
This attitude happily ignores UEFA constantly turning a blind eye to outrageous tapping-up attempts by certain sides in la Primera, not to mention allowing the financial basket case of Valencia into this season's Champions League.
However, La Liga Loca applauds UEFAÃ¢ÂÂs decision - but in a sympathetic way. The blog is not totally without heart.
Someone has had to put at least one of this irresponsible band of Spanish clubs, populated by the likes of Deportivo, over their knee to warn others that acting like economic buffoons has consequences. UEFA have shown Mallorca that whilst they can do whatever the heck they want in their own backyard, if they want to go play with everyone else, then they need to learn how to behave properly.
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