Unwanted, unloved and ignored

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On Thursday, a smugger looking version of Seinfeld’s George Costanza banged on the drawbridge doors of the Kingdom of Catalunya carrying a very large box indeed. It wasn’t elevenses being delivered to the Barça board, but 9,473 signatures which will trigger a supporter’s referendum on the future of Lord Laporta’s reign.

In an act of pure self-publicity and faux outrage... sorry... in a genuine, selfless declaration of love for his club, Oriol Giralt has given up the last few weeks of his life gathering names for his petition which could result in Joan Laporta being forced to walk the footballing plank and leaving the Catalan club. "It’s difficult for someone to see their own weaknesses,” claimed the club’s new saviour as his main motivation for his act of rebellion.

Joan Laporta: under pressure (insert bassline here)

Because football, elections and skulduggery go together in Spain like Guti and iffy hairdos - his new one’s a belter - there will a pause in the proceedings whilst all the documentation is checked. After all, two Real Madrid employees have just been accused of forging signatures during the club’s decidedly dodgy 2006 presidential postal vote.

Sport are scrabbling for the root causes of such a significant vote against the current incumbent in the Barcelona hot seat, with Emilio Pérez de Rozas writing that “the members believe that the Laporta of old - young, a motivator, fresh, clean, a driver, creative, a leader, a uniter, a friend and massively supported in the elections - is not there anymore.” For the majority of Barcelona members, Laporta has gone from heaven to hell without visiting purgatory,” sighs Josep Casanovas.

Meanwhile, outside Castle Greyskull, there are dissenting voices suggesting that a summer move for Cristiano Ronaldo would not be such a great idea - not that Real Madrid are looking for this, of course. And one of those heretical hacks is Juanma Trueba of AS. “Madrid are betting heavily on Cristiano and it’s a risk to their image,” opined the writer in an online chat with readers. “It’s a great threat to the ecosystem that Madrid have created with their mix of veterans and young players.”

Calderon (right) and Mijatovic: at odds over Ronaldo?

Even Lord of the Flies Pedja Mijatovic suggests that he and his pumped-up president may not be singing from the same hymn sheet in regards to the planned stellar signing. "We have to be careful as it’s a very united group,” warned the club’s sporting director.

If Ronaldo ends up flying into Barajas airport, he's hardly likely to bump into his compatriot Maniche at the baggage carousel. Unwanted at Inter Milan and now linked with clubs in England, the midfielder has said that the one place he won’t be returning to - despite having a contract with them - is Atlético Madrid. “If Aguirre is staying I cannot come back,” confessed the portly Portuguese. On the other hand Javi Garcia, in an outstanding burst of ambition, has returned to Real Madrid from Osasuna claiming that “unless I’m given a kick in the butt, I’m going nowhere.”

He could well be joined on the Bernabeu sidelines by wild man of football Pablo García, who is looking for his third loan deal in three years after leading both Celta Vigo and Murcia to relegation. One of the 57 players that Unai Emery will be looking to offload at Valencia is goalkeeper, Juan Luis Mora - if they can remember who he is, that is. “I feel ignored,” moaned the stopper who has managed just three starts in three seasons at the club. “I’ve never felt so…”

Sorry, is that the doorbell?