Let's start with the news that the skies over El Madrigal will be disfigured this weekend during the Madrid match, courtesy of a Manchester United supporters' group. "UnitedReel" (that's apparently their name) will pay €5000 to have a plane fly overhead with a banner urging Cristiano Ronaldo to "come home" to Man United. No word on whether they've chartered the plane from Castellon Airport, nor whether the ego that is Cristiano will even deign to notice.
Also, much coverage in Spain and elsewhere of the news that a Spanish state prosecutor has summoned a number of players--up to 20, in some reports--to appear before him to answer allegations of match-fixing. The game in question was played May 21, 2011 between Levante and Real Zaragoza. Zaragoza, needing a win to stay in the Primera, got it, 2-1. This match was among a number league president Javier Tebas revealed was under investigation awhile back.
Of interest to Villarreal supporters, Javi Venta played that day for Levante, and Ikechukwu Uche played for Zaragoza (though he was substituted after 55 minutes).
Also, confirmation here from our sister SBN website devoted to Madrid that Cheryshev will not play this Saturday:
Cheryshev not able to feature against Madrid/Managing Madrid
He would help our team on the day, certainly, but if we had wanted to spend that, we could have just paid it for the loan with an agreement he could play against Madrid. Besides, does Real Madrid need any more money??
Also, the Guardian had an excellent expose on Jorge Mendes earlier this week:
The paper also reports that UEFA is "planning to ban third-party ownership" although exactly what this means, and how it would work, has not been revealed. Sepp Blatter promised FIFA would do something about it in 2007--we're still waiting.
From Villarreal's point of view, the only two players I'm aware of who might be affected by this are Luciano Vietto--we bought most of his rights, and I believe have an agreed-upon price to buy the rest--and Mateo Musacchio. His situation is complicated first because (a) it appeared from reports last summer his agent owned part of his rights, which is against FIFA regulations, and (b) Villarreal and River Plate have been fighting in court over how much ownership Villarreal actually has.
In that regard, I did see a tweet earlier this week that said the Argentine court had ruled it did not have jurisdiction over this dispute and referred it to the court in Switzerland (CAS?) that deals with appeals of FIFA regulations and such, but I have not been able to confirm that anywhere. If anyone knows for sure that is what is happening, let us know--I am sure Villarreal would be happy with that.
And a few last takeaways from yesterday's match. Marcelino said we deserved to win, which was true. Tends to even out over a season though.
This was the first match where the club selected ten "Very Yellow People" to travel with the team and view the match. You can see a video of the group with the team here (including one woman almost leaving her handbag on the airport tarmac!!)
And, we will have a new club shop, opening in downtown Vila-real on October 1st. Once it's open, the shop at El Madrigal will only be open on game days (2 hours before kickoff).