No fun in the sun for Barça's big cheese
Wherever you are in the world - even if it's Lincolnshire - you're probably having a chirpier summer than poor old ducking and covering Barcelona bigwig, Joan Laporta. The lobster-like La Liga Loca, for one, has been spending the sticky season hiding its milky soft skin from the scorching Madrid sun, chuckling at the three feet height difference between Lord of the Flies, David Bisbal and lovely Rihanna and waiting for the Madrid masses to bugger off to the beach and leave the city streets all Day of the Triffids.Joan Laporta is currently hanging onto his Barcelona desk like Maniche being hauled away from an all-you-can-eat-buffet.The BarÃÂ§a president survived the vote of confidence called by super socio, Oriol "I'm doing this for the good of the club and not for my own personal glorification, no siree Bob" Giralt. But by the skin of his flashy white teeth.
Laporta: All smiles, but for how much longer?
60% of the vote went against Laporta, but it was not enough to call new elections seeing as 65% was needed. And this is where La Liga Loca feels a little sorry for Laporta. A sensation it is not enjoying at all. Although it was a hefty percentage that poo-pooed Joan, only 37,000 or so bothered to go to the polls out of possible 118,000 leaving a significant majority either indifferent to the whole affair, too lazy to vote, doing something better with their time, in favour of Laporta or smart enough to realise that a presidential election at the start of season would be a tremendously entertaining act of self destruction. Several days after the poll results were released, eight members of the Barcelona board stepped down for the motives of honour and nobility. And not to manoeuvre themselves into prime position for the presidential trough come 2010's election. Like former VP Ferran Soriano for instance. "I'm not the source of instability," shrugged Laporta and for once in his life, he was right. And it's an opinion echoed by former BarÃÂ§a coach, Udo Lattek, who complains in Kicker that the Camp Nou possesses an "environment of politics, power, vanity and envy." But to be fair to the Catalan club, that's pretty much the situation across La Liga with club boardrooms packed with more shady characters than an Eminem lookalike convention. A lazy-arsed La Liga Loca has been trying to avoid all things related to the game in Spain. But the blog's goal has not been helped by the constant appearance of Real Madrid president, RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n, on every media possible and even in its dreams. But let's not go there. Whether it was Euro 2008, Wimbledon, Celebrity Masterchef or perched on Sepp Blatter's knee (not all of these are entirely true), there was RamÃÂ³n with his irritating 'look at me in my fancy seat' expression. If he turns up at Madrid's Summercase festival this weekend high-fiving Nick Cave, then by jimminy they'll be trouble.
Calderon crops up again, this time at Spain vs Russia
When not taking advantage of every freebie going in the Western world, CalderÃÂ³n has been going back on his promise - fancy that - to spanishize Real Madrid's squad and promote more home grown talent. Gone are Javier Balbao and, more surprisingly, Esteban Granero who has been flogged to Getafe. And coming in - possibly - is a certain Portuguese pouter and Rafael Van der Vaart, leaving the Bernabeu side with about as many Spaniards in the side as you would find still passing drugs tests in the Tour de France. Valencia and instability go together like JosÃÂ© Antonio Reyes and whining, so it was no surprise when the story emerged that brand new big cheese in Mestalla, Juan Villalonga, wants to kick Unai Emery's youthful booty out - despite having only been at the club for seven minutes - and replace him with the wrinkly old vein-ridden posterior of Luis AragonÃÂ©s. When La Liga Loca first brought the name of Villalonga up it warned that it had already taken an instant dislike to to the corporate superstar seeing as he used to head up Telefonica, the most feckless bunch of shysters you could ever come across. But it was a company he was forced to resign from in July 2000 having been investigated for insider trading. So rather expecting a period of calm and stability, the blog has its cushions plumped and ready for another season of lunacy. And it has started with the sacking of the previous sporting director and the appointment of the fourth in a year, Xavier Azkargorta. AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid have kicked off their pre season with a defeat to Mexican side, Pueblo. La Liga Loca tuned in, saw ClÃÂ©ber Santana in the line up, realised that the rojiblancos couldn't have been taking the match that seriously and tuned out 14 seconds later. And that's the way things will stay until the end of the month. After all, there's a very Spanish version of Where's Wally to keep the blog entertained... spotting RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n. ******** La Liga Loca's Summertime Sack Race OddsPaco Chaparro (Betis): 3-1Javier Aguirre (AtlÃÂ©tico): 6-1Unai Emery (Valencia): 10-1Muggins at Espanyol: 12-1Bernd Schuster (Real Madrid): 15-1 (old habits)