So a quick roundup of the Spanish papers:
(1) Marca says the Man City goal was onside. As you'll see if you look at the discussion under our recap, Garrido has agreed after having seen the replay. (as have I, reluctantly, after seeing the photo Kenez sent from a proper angle)
(2) The remaining talking point is the behavior of Kun Aguero after the game. Sr. Llaneza was livid, accusing Kun of a lack of respect and insulting and taunting our players.
For his part, Kun (in perfect English--rather suspicious) tweeted that he would never do anything like that and was insulted. I know whom I believe.
(3) Both AS and EPM agree that the result was unjust, though both also question (at least obliquely) Garrido's substitutions at the end. Borja and Rossi are the two players quoted as saying the result was very harsh.
Garrido's comments after the game were familiar: we played well, showed we could compete, etc., and it was a harsh result. It seems to me if he's going to talk about "playing to win" we should do it for 90 minutes plus three of injury time, though. And I think some of the local fans on twitter are saying the same.
Still, as maddi noted, one of the factors contributing to our string of poor results has been pure bad luck, and so it was tonight. Not only the unlucky own goal, but if Bruno had made better contact (less up, more out) with his clearing header, the clock runs out with Man City tracking back to take the ball from Rossi and a 1-1 result.
Meanwhile, in England Ian Ayre,the managing director of Liverpool FC, apparently is so enamored of the Spanish TV rights model that he proposed EPL teams be able to negotiate overseas rights separately. The football finance blog The Swiss Ramble has done an excellent analysis of TV payments, domestic, overseas, UEFA competitions, across the main leagues in Europe, and here it is:
Long, I know, but well worth reading. A few highlights:
"In summary, with the exception of La Liga, every major league distributes a good proportion of the TV funds equally"...That’s bad enough, but the real issue in Spain is that the drop starts immediately with third placed Valencia only receiving £37 million, so the big two earn at least three times as much TV money as their closest challengers. Every other league is more equitable with the top team earning between 1.1 and 1.2 times as much as the third highest earner."
A couple of tables I won't reproduce here show that in 2009-10 the top two teams in Europe by revenues were Real Madrid and Barcelona; the next highest Spanish team was Atletico Madrid (thanks to CL/EL money) who were 17th.
And the gap between the big two and everyone else--in Europe, not just Spain is increasing.
It's hard to be optimistic about the future of La Liga as a competition after reading this. Harder still to have any sympathy for the new breed of club owner who view a football team merely as another brand in the corporate portfolio, with the sole purpose of generating more revenues and profits.
We'll be posting another podcast talking about the B team and Copa del Rey soon, and start looking forward to the Levante match. ENDAVANT VILLARREAL!!