The latest set of economic figures from Spain were depressing. Unemployment overall is now above 26%; to get a sense of what that means, that unemployment rate in America would translate to 40 million people out of work (the actual number here is 12 million). And the unemployment rate for those under 25 in Spain is now 60%:
In the Valencian Community, where Vila-real is, the rate is even worse, with 28.1% unemployed.
But the Valencian regional government has now found itself the defacto owner of three football clubs--Valencia, Elche and Hercules--because the premier guaranteed their bank loans, which they have been unable to pay. This coming at a time when pharmacies and schools can't get money from the province.
Lest we feel too smug, remember Villarreal received €20m over five years from the "airport without planes", which is back in the news! Seems a Mercedes driver has been using it as a test track, and the Valencian premier claims this is destroying the airport's "credibility":
Dude, you can't lose what you don't have.
Returning to football for a moment, government ownership of teams, even through the 'back door', violates European Union rules. If another club reports it, Valencia could be banned from future European competition or fined, I suppose:
And here is a free-kick that probably worked very well on the training ground, where it should have stayed:
Finally, news that Villarreal are interested in Miguel Parrales, currently playing for Ecuador's U-20 side:
He is a 17-year old attacking midfielder. Sounds good! Endavant!