Wheee! Slice! Argh! Madridistas fall on their swords
Wheee! Slice! Argh!
Wheee! Slice! Argh!
That, dear readers, is the sound of two more men falling on their swords.
Baa! Hack! Argh!
Baa! Hack! Argh!
The sound, more to the point, of two more sacrificial lambs being slaughtered. Two sacrificial lambs by the name of Mariano RodrÃÂguez de Barutell, known as Ã¢ÂÂNanÃÂnÃ¢ÂÂ, and Luis BÃÂ¡rcena.
Not sacrificial lambs that La Liga Loca feels especially sorry for Ã¢ÂÂ especially not poor little rich boy NanÃÂn - but sacrificial lambs nonetheless.
You see, last night BÃÂ¡rcena and NanÃÂn were sacked from their posts at Real Madrid by (the still) president RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n. The guilty men in the scandal uncovered by Marca. The men who have paid the price so that CalderÃÂ³n doesnÃ¢ÂÂt have to. Rather like Fabio Capello, in fact. Or Bernd Schuster.
Now, for those of you a little behind, hereÃ¢ÂÂs whatÃ¢ÂÂs happened so farÃ¢ÂÂ¦
(You might want to adopt a deep cinema-style voice here.)
Previously on Castle Greyskull Ã¢ÂÂ¦
Unpopular president RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n Ã¢ÂÂ already accused of, well, too many things for La Liga Loca to recap, especially without the help of our lawyer Lionel Hutz - panics that he might not get the accounts and a few other bits and bobs of business approved by the membersÃ¢ÂÂ assembly on December 7. He is terrified, nay petrified, of the dark shadow of a certain Florentino PÃÂ©rez.
CalderÃÂ³n scrapes through the membersÃ¢ÂÂ assembly. During aforementioned assembly, members of the Ultra Sur - one of whom, a gift for the media, could not have been any more of a cartoon bad guy if he joined the Ant Hill Mob - spend the assembly shouting Ã¢ÂÂanti-Madridistas sons of bitchesÃ¢ÂÂ at those who oppose him and oÃ¢ÂÂPresidente! Presidente!Ã¢ÂÂ at CalderÃÂ³n himself.
There are lots of accusations and angry words, lots of shouting and pushing and other generally un-edifying shenanigans going on.
Votes are cast by a show of hands (as they always have been). Votes are counted in the pretty little heads of the stewardesses (as they always have been). Some members are denied access to the arena to watch events unfold. Accusations are made that the club laid on busses to get the Ultras there. CalderÃÂ³n denies it.
Ã¢ÂÂWhat are busses?Ã¢ÂÂ he says.*
Just over a month later, Marca breaks the story that CalderÃÂ³n Ã¢ÂÂrobbedÃ¢ÂÂ the assembly. It alleges that CalderÃÂ³n infiltrated the assembly with people loyal to him to make sure he got through the vote. BÃÂ¡rcena, director of members and the man responsible for organising the assembly, says he will investigate and take the necessary actions.
The next day, Marca publishes a follow up. It includes photos of the men who shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have been there: some because they are not compromisarios (members with a voice and vote for the assembly), some because they are but shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be (because their form wasnÃ¢ÂÂt completed correctly or because they have not been members long enough to qualify), and one because he is an AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid season ticket holder. Strategically placed, all are aggressive during the assembly.
All voted in CalderÃÂ³nÃ¢ÂÂs favourÃ¢ÂÂ¦
And so it was that CalderÃÂ³n stood before the media at the Santiago BernabÃÂ©u, backed by all the presidentÃ¢ÂÂs men. Sweating. Fighting back. And denying everything.
Calderon & co. face the music...
Ã¢ÂÂWe had an unpleasant surprise when we saw what was published this morning. None of us have participated directly or indirectly in the presence of unauthorised people in the last assembly of Real Madrid. I swear on my honour Ã¢ÂÂ and that is worth a lot to me,Ã¢ÂÂ he said, as everyone stifled a giggle and the temptation to mutter 'well, it aint worth jack to us, sunshine.'
Ã¢ÂÂI have nothing to hide, I donÃ¢ÂÂt mind being here until four in the morning,Ã¢ÂÂ CalderÃÂ³n continued. In fact, he didnÃ¢ÂÂt quite make it that far. But he was there for over an hour in which he managed to say an awful lot and admitted that the assembly was indeed fraudulent.
Ã¢ÂÂWe will investigate every single one of the compromisarios at the assembly,Ã¢ÂÂ he said.
Ã¢ÂÂWould I be here if I had anything to hide?Ã¢ÂÂ he said.
Ã¢ÂÂWe would like to re-stage the assembly but weÃ¢ÂÂre not sure if weÃ¢ÂÂre legally entitled to do so,Ã¢ÂÂ he said.
Ã¢ÂÂLook into my eyes, canÃ¢ÂÂt you see theyÃ¢ÂÂre open wide. Would I lie to you?Ã¢ÂÂ he said.**
Ã¢ÂÂMy directors are completely behind me and they have not leaked this. I trust them 100%. I would put my hand in the fire for them. In fact, IÃ¢ÂÂd put both my hands in the fire for them Ã¢ÂÂ I wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt mind ending up armless,Ã¢ÂÂ he said.
Ã¢ÂÂWe will kick out any members who are proven to have entered the assembly under false pretences,Ã¢ÂÂ he said.
What he didnÃ¢ÂÂt say was what most people wanted him to: Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm off. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a fair cop, guv. YouÃ¢ÂÂve got me bang to rights. IÃ¢ÂÂll sling me Ã¢ÂÂook.Ã¢ÂÂ
What he didnÃ¢ÂÂt say was: Ã¢ÂÂI will resign and call elections. Like, now."
And he didnÃ¢ÂÂt say that because Ã¢ÂÂresigning would be the act of a coward.Ã¢ÂÂ Because Ã¢ÂÂpeople who resign are people who have something to hide.Ã¢ÂÂ Because, Ã¢ÂÂif there is one thing I have done in my life it is act with honestyÃ¢ÂÂ (stop sniggering). Because, above all, Ã¢ÂÂthis board and I have not done anything. We are the victims here. Because, we have done nothing wrong.Ã¢ÂÂ
The man who had, CalderÃÂ³n said, was NanÃÂn Ã¢ÂÂ a 25 year old who works in the clubÃ¢ÂÂs membersÃ¢ÂÂ department, acts like he owns the place, and drives a flash BMW worth Ã¢ÂÂ¬70,000 even though he is theoretically on Ã¢ÂÂ¬12,000 a year. The same NanÃÂn who admitted to CalderÃÂ³n that he had sneaked in a few of his mates.
Not that CalderÃÂ³n could explain why. Ã¢ÂÂPerhaps,Ã¢ÂÂ he ventured, Ã¢ÂÂhe thought he was helping. When you love someone you try to help them out, even when you shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt.Ã¢ÂÂ
Whatever the reason, it definitely was not because he was under orders.
ThatÃ¢ÂÂs why NanÃÂn had to be sacked. And so did BÃÂ¡rcena, because heÃ¢ÂÂs NanÃÂnÃ¢ÂÂs boss.
But not CalderÃÂ³n, even though he is both of theirs.
Because, CalderÃÂ³n said, he didnÃ¢ÂÂt know anything about it. Because, never mind that hidden camera documentary that accused him of rigging votes during the elections, NanÃÂn is just a lad who works in the membersÃ¢ÂÂ department. And because he doesnÃ¢ÂÂt even know the infiltrators in question.
Which will be why the photos in todayÃ¢ÂÂs Marca show two of them on a boat with CalderÃÂ³nÃ¢ÂÂs brother and BÃÂ¡rcena, or three of them on holiday in Rome with NanÃÂn and CalderÃÂ³nÃ¢ÂÂs son. Which will be why when he won the elections, in his acceptance speech, CalderÃÂ³n said he Ã¢ÂÂparticularlyÃ¢ÂÂ wanted to thank NanÃÂn. Ã¢ÂÂWithout whom I could not have won.Ã¢ÂÂ
Just because CalderÃÂ³n is paranoid doesnÃ¢ÂÂt mean theyÃ¢ÂÂre not out to get him. And just because theyÃ¢ÂÂre out to get him doesnÃ¢ÂÂt mean he doesnÃ¢ÂÂt deserve it. Ã¢ÂÂI donÃ¢ÂÂt have long left,Ã¢ÂÂ he said. It was the only thing he said that you could be sure was true.
(*CalderÃÂ³n did not actually say that.)
(** Or this. But he might as well have.)
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