Juan Mata is one of many stars Valencia have sold in the past few years. Expect more to go. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Remember last summer. Santi Cazorla was sold to Malaga (that part, I'd rather forget) and Javi Mata quoted Sr. Roig as saying he wanted to owe "nothing to nobody", that the only clubs with money would be Barcelona and Real Madrid. And lo, it has come to pass--perhaps more quickly than Sr. Roig even expected.
Malaga has had its own, well-documented problems this summer, with Santi being moved on to Arsenal and other stars being let go. And now Valencia is the latest "crisis club", with Bankia (itself bankrupt and in the process of receiving a bailout) declaring that the conditions to resume work on the new stadium have not been met:
The club could flog itself to a foreign buyer, but given the poor economic situation in Spain and the unequal distribution of moneys in La Liga, is anyone going to buy it?
Meanwhile, the mayor of Valencia hasn;t exactly been kept in the loop: she found out like the rest of us:
Meanwhile, Spanish clubs are putting a brave face on the decision to sell players and use that money to pay down debt rather than reinvest in the squad (Atletic Bilbao is the latest, announcing today they would use the €40m from the Javi Martinez sale to pay down debt rather than reinvest in players):
Interesting interview with Michu in the Guardian (UK): I love how the Rayo team bus couldn't take the toll roads because of money concerns. This is a team in the top league in Europe!!
Sr. Gay from the Barcelona business school sums it up, "Spanish football is dying":
The good news (if there is any) is that if Villarreal can get back in the top flight next season, they will be able to take advantage of their lack of third-party debt and money due to the taxman. The games used by other teams to spend beyond their means and avoid the inevitable appear to be ending (although this is still Spain; there are plenty of technically insolvent teams in the Primera and Segunda).
On the pitch, Spanish teams did very well this week in the European competitions, which is providing some lifeline to clubs like Malaga and Levante. Off the pitch, though....