Valencia - the ultimate community club

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All over la Liga, Spain’s football clubs have been taking one for the team and helping out their most loyal supporters in these dark financial days.

Almería have announced that they will be dropping their season ticket prices by 30 percent for the new campaign. And this has nothing to do with a whopping 28 percent fall in attendances for the 2008/09 season from the previous year.

Meanwhile, Real Betis have decided to give their supporters a break from the old routine by swapping tedious trips to the Camp Nou for second division Sundays against Salamanca. 

AS are reporting that construction king Florentino Pérez is contemplating the building of a Real Madrid Epcot centre - the third major infrastructure project being bandied about by a club president who appears to see cement mixers where fans see a stadium.

The paper enthuses that the family-friendly park will be stuffed with rides such as the Guti-themed ‘Spaced Mountain’ and an ‘It’s a Small World’-style boat-ride based on Real Madrid’s back four where you enjoy the sight of slow-moving figures repeating the same rib-tickling actions again and again.

Pellegrini switches to flat back three 

But beating all these funtastic efforts hands down are Valencia, the club whose bold campaign allows everyone in the city a go at being president.

A busy weekend for the men from Mestalla saw the club appoint their seventh head honcho in just 15 months. In fact, a busy weekend for the men from Mestalla saw the club appoint their third head honcho in just four days.

The latest east coast eruptions began on Thursday when the then president, Vicente Soriano, was forced to step down by the club’s biggest creditors, Bancaja, for having failed to sell the old Mestalla or do anything whatsoever to improve the club’s disastrous financial position.

Psst! Wanna buy a ground? 

In copying Ramón Calderón’s resignation speech, Soriano claimed he was leaving his position “with a clear conscience” but that he was also going “with a dagger in my heart because I have not been able to reorganise the club.”

(In many ways Soriano got off lightly, considering a number of his predecessors at this most viscous of clubs have left the post of president with actual daggers in their hearts).

Taking over from the second biggest majority shareholder was Javier Gómez, but he only lasted two days before Manuel Llorente moved into the hot seat.

Llorente was the club's Delegate General between 1998 and 2004 (and involved in a corruption scandal in this time, warn El País) and is the choice of Bancaja, who are the real trouser-wearers at the club these days.

“The role of president is not one that is a pleasant experience,” noted Llorente on taking up his new role.

Llorente has said that if the likes of David Villa are to be sold, then it will be for as much money as possible. But according to an article in Monday’s El País he is hardly in a position to make demands from any potential purchasers.

In a terrifying read for Valencia fans, the paper reports that the club’s debt at the end of June will stand at 547 million Euro with 70m having been lost this season alone. In the past six years the club has spent 300m Euro more than its total income from the same period.

"Come on lads, it's not that hard" 

It makes one wonder why those in charge can't be thrown into the slammer on the grounds of complete idiocy. The issue with such an action is that it would set a precedent that would see a good 90 percent of those running the game in Spain doing time.

But then again, that might give a chance to those who may actually know what they are doing to have a go. A bold step forward for la Liga.


Competition Time

For your chance to win a year’s subscription to FourFourTwo, remember to enter our little competition.

New Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez is considering taking a sponsor’s name for the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

All you have to do is send your helpful ideas on who they should be and why to by the end of Thursday June 11 - extension, folks, get writing! - with the best suggestion winning the prize.

(Usual FFT terms and conditions apply.)

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