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Valencian government now owns football teams as crisis deepens: news roundup, January 25

Catching up with the (not good) economic news in Spain and the Valencian Community, plus news of a possible signing for Villarreal, a goal by Santi Cazorla on video, and more!

ah, the memories....
ah, the memories....
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

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%:

Spain: Unemployment For Under 25s Hits 60%

In the Valencian Community, where Vila-real is, the rate is even worse, with 28.1% unemployed.

El País Valencià té ja 700.000 aturats, un 28,1% de la població - La Veu del País Valencià

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.

Valencia regional government FC | In English | EL PAÍS

Pregunten a Rajoy pels 118 milions d'euros públics per al València CF, Hèrcules i Elx - La Veu del País Valencià

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":

Castellón car tests strip airport of "credibility" | In English | EL PAÍS

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:

El futuro del Valencia CF depende de la denuncia de otro club o persona | Futbolfinanzas

Of course UEFA has already "thrown the book" at Málaga...

Malaga, its Overdue Debts & UEFA Financial Fair Play | Daniel Geey | The Final Score on Football Law

Meanwhile, thinking of Malaga, and Villarreal, and thus Santi Cazorla, enjoy this cheeky goal:

Cazorla marcó de tacón - LAOTRALIGA | Un diario deportivo sin Real Madrid ni Barcelona

And here is a free-kick that probably worked very well on the training ground, where it should have stayed:

World's craziest free kick? Thai side Muangthong United's head-first set piece — video | Sport |

Finally, news that Villarreal are interested in Miguel Parrales, currently playing for Ecuador's U-20 side:

Herrera: el traspaso de Cevallos, interés del Villarreal por Parrales y la autorización para negociar a Uchuari (Audio) | Futbol Ecuador | Campeonato Ecuatoriano | Noticias Deportivas | Tera Deportes

He is a 17-year old attacking midfielder. Sounds good! Endavant!