Presidential panic aplenty in La Liga

With an hour or two to kill at an airport, recently, a bored-to-tears La Liga Loca took a moment to flick through a couple of self-help business books aimed at desperate and despairing corporate types looking to tick off the 'strategic thinking' box in their end of year appraisals.  

Alongside 'People Management the Pol Pot Way!' and 'Why Failure is the New Success!", the blog picked up a tome proposing the theory that the best option, when everything is going to hell in a handcart, is to do nothing.

La Liga Loca may send Ramon Caldéron a copy as the Real Madrid president is currently trying to counter claims that the club is in full-on "crisis" mode by organising late night meetings and releasing "we're screwed comments" to the press.

Instead, the incompetent incumbent in charge at Castle Greyskull should be saying and doing absolutely nothing - although he may be physically incapable of this. After all, the club is still four points clear of Barcelona and there is a decent chance it could be seven in a few days time.

But that's not Calderón's way. Instead the president has suddenly thought, "jeez, Louise, maybe I shouldn't have sacked my title-winning manager and replaced him with a man with as much top-flight club experience as the Krankies".

That's what Marca wrote in Tuesday's editorial with the gem of wisdom that "the original sin was sacking Capello" - an insight that was rarely heard during the last four months of 2007, when the paper was insisting that the sun shone from Schuster's posterior.

On Sunday night, after the defeat to Valencia, the Bernabeu bigwig called a meeting with two minions and Pedja Mijatovic - a man, who, to be fair, appointed Fabio Capello and wanted to keep him - to demand answers. Calderón will have a long wait.

Joan Laporta was another president with bit of explaining to do. The King of Cataluyna had his imperial litter set down before some journalists, on Tuesday, to discuss the current debate over the future of Ronaldinho. "There is no divorce between the club and Ronaldinho", beamed the club president attempting the Jedi mind-trick for the umpteenth time.

Laporta was also asked why a club playing in Barcelona shirts, called Barcelona and backed by Barcelona refused to line up for the Spanish national anthem for a second year in a row at the mini-world cup held in the Algarve, over the weekend.

The claims are "completely false", announced Laporta before being carried to his next appointment.

Manuel Ruiz de Lopera, Betis' evil overlord, could be facing up to four years in the slammer having been denounced by the state's prosecutor office for siphoning off cash from the club through his Encadesa holding company.

Lopera "abused his position for his own or a third party benefit and prejudiced the interests of the club", said the report which also detailed that the club owed the taxman 8 million euros, despite de Lopera saying recently that "we don't owe anything to anyone".

In 2003, Encadesa signed a deal that gave the group the right to "negotiate, sign and manage all income for the Betis". The holding company was formed in 1999 by three companies - two of them Russian.

Aside from a rather verbose and not really saying anything denial on the club website, de Lopera and Betis have chosen to ignore this whole messy business by continuing their sensational sulk that sees them refusing to move their matches from the de Lopera stadium, as ordered by the Spanish FA.

"They aren't giving us time to prepare another ground", claimed de Lopera as he flicked through a catalogue of male chastity belts.

It's "Beauty and the Beast" according to Marca with Spain taking on Italy in a friendly on Wednesday night, although the headline should read "big fat losers against winners", perhaps.

Luis Aragones entertainingly continued his refusal to call-up both Guti and Raul, but instead threw the cat amongst the footballing pigeons by selecting former Madridista's and clearly inferier to Gago and co, de la Red and Arbeloa.

In their build up to the match, Marca continued their fine brand of insightful journalism by asking the usual "would you like to play for Real Madrid" question to Gianluigi Buffon.

"Can you imagine yourself as Casillas' team-mate?", they asked the Italian stopper.

"It would be difficult", replied Buffon diplomatically.