Villarreal will play Ponferradina in Copa del Rey first round

Ponferradina had a good time in the Copa del Rey last year--until they played these guys. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

The Spanish football authorities have released the first-round pairings in the Copa del Rey. Remember that the first three rounds are one-legged affairs (it only gets two-legged later to minimize the chances the big two won't get to the final). Villarreal will play Ponferradina at El Madrigal on September 12; the time hasn't been set yet. (Intriguingly, this match will take place just after the two teams meet in Bierzo, on or about September 9).

And Villarreal will again host a match for the Trofeo de la Ceramica; this year will be the 13th staging of this match. Levante will take on Villarreal on Saturday, August 11 at 19:45 Spanish time (2:45pm EDT in the US). No idea if there will be a stream or not, but probably....not.

So you may have to settle for the picture on the official website, which shows Marcos Senna posing with this year's trophy, another absurdist creation by the local artist Ripolles. I like the handles on the figure's head, like a caldero (the pan you make paella in). Should brighten up someone's trophy case.

Returning to football now, the league has released the matchups and dates for the first three jornadas, and Tim Stannard has captured the reaction perfectly:

La Liga clubs up in arms as Primera matches set for midnight kick-offs - La Liga Loca - FourFourTwo

And finally, with Gonzalo and Borja Valero now gone, the total take for the summer is around €42m; add to that some sell-on money for Matigol and Santi (assuming this gets closed) and collection of the money Malaga owes us, and the total is around €46m.

The writer of this article confuses the budget and transfer fees, but his basic point is clear--the massive clear-out is fine, but how about a couple of signings now?

EPM points out that even if we receive little in the way of transfer fees for players such as Camuñas, Marchena, Gonzalo and Zapata, saving money on their salaries is just as important. The salaries of these four (including the tax that Villarreal pays on them) is almost €10m, a third of Villarreal's budget for the year. I wonder if Zapata may end up staying, but clearly the others won't (Gonzalo is already gone, of course).


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