Will Sevilla’s president be going stir crazy?

If you are the president of a football club located in the wacky world of Andalusia, then standing up to your eyeballs in some kind of dodgy deal or saucy scandal forms part of the job requirements.

Indeed, the minority of this money-obsessed mob who remain clean as whistles are probably jeered by the others for being big girl’s blouses and made to sit on the naughty step at the group’s annual ten-pin bowling booze-up.

To silence the thump-thumping of FourFourTwo’s crack legal team pounding their foreheads on their desks, the blog should probably explain itself.

As reported last week, the ex-president of Xerez was forced to step down after a fight with a Russian bouncer and an incident involving a gun and the door of a knocking-shop.

(And on a side-note, Tuesday’s Marca sighs that the club is still without a manager, new signings, the location of a training camp or a date for the players’ return to work.)

BLOG: Zombies, bouncers, shooters and a sea-lion

Lorenzo Sanz, former Real Madrid president and current owner of Málaga, always seems to be in some of kind scrape.

The latest two, for example, saw him being questioned by the local plod over his involvement in an iffy money transfer as well as the outstanding investigation that was opened after accusations of match-fixing were hurled in his direction by Real Sociedad president Iñaki Badiola.


Sanz: "Malaga 2..." 

Darth Manuel de Lopera at Betis is no stranger to the authorities poking their noses into his handling of the club’s accounts.

But all this is small-fry compared to the accusations of wrongdoing that Sevilla president José Maria del Nido is now facing – accusations that could eventually see him running his football club with a cell-mate called Big Bernie for company.

As well as being the introverted president of Sevilla football club and the self-proclaimed second most important man (after the Pope) in the city of Seville, Del Nido is also a lawyer.

And believing in the perfectly valid concept of justice for all – even the most questionable characters in Spain – Sevilla’s big cheese has served as the lawyer for a whole number of delightful specimens of humanity such as former Atlético Madrid president, Jesus Gil.

Jesus Gil was eventually found guilty of all manner of corruption charges dating back to his time as mayor of Marbella, arguably the region's Ground Zero of dodginess.

With Gil having died – before he could serve out his prison sentence, unfortunately – Del Nido then went on to do legal work for the Marbella city council and even defended the next mayor, Julian Muñoz, after he too was hit with a vast number of corruption charges that saw his moustachioed face poking out from behind bars.

Unfortunately for Del Nido, as El País write on Tuesday, this close involvement with organised crime has “catapulted him into the first category of suspects” in a new investigation.

A report issued by the Fiscalía Anticorrupción (an official body with the role of investigating and bringing cases of corruption before the courts) has accused Del Nido of an impressive number of crimes including illicit associations, fraud, and the false documentation of public and private records.

The agency is calling for twelve-and-a-half years in prison for Del Nido, along with a 20-year suspension of his ability to practice law.

Del Nido’s response to the charges was a cheery open letter on the club’s website thanking the fans for their ongoing support and calling on them: “to be calm. The president is with you. We will walk on together.”


Del Nido: "You'll never get it to stick, d'you hear..." 

There is considerably more response on Marca’s message boards, where more than 700 posts react to the news with comment-makers taking advantage of Spain’s extraordinarily lax libel laws to post their thoughts on the guilt and overall character of the Sevilla president.

Despite the seriousness of the situation that Del Nido finds himself in, El País does not think that the accusations will affect his situation one tiny bit at Sevilla, unless the club has a poor summer in the transfer market.

After all, as Tuesday’s edition notes, “De Lopera was being investigated for irregularities in the running of Betis and that did not send a single Betico into the street. The demonstrations only came when the club was relegated.”

As La Liga Loca has written on a number of occasions, Andalusia is a most peculiar place.

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