Forgot to post this tidbit earlier, but Villarreal's home campaign concluded with an average attendance of 16,092, very similar to last season. Our best-attended game was our home match against Valencia, with over 23,000 there; our lowest? The match Alisa and I saw against Sevilla in the pouring rain, only 9,000 there. Even with that, the atmosphere was great.
Came across this site that ranks world football coaches. Marcelino comes in at #11, just behind Arsene Wenger but ahead of Nuno (#21) and Ernesto Valverde (#22) as well as Rafael Benitez, rumored to be taking over at Madrid (#16). Obviously the ranking depends mostly on team performance but if you're interested in more details about how they do it you can look at that site. Unai Emery is currently #3, behind Enrique and Ancelotti.
Relegation from the Primera could be interesting this season. Almeria have appealed the three point-deduction they were given for stiffing a Danish club out of a transfer fee, and the Council of Arbitration for Sport are going to hear the appeal--the week after the season ends. If the three-point deduction is upheld, they'll be relegated regardless of how they do against Valencia on Sunday.
And, Getafe and Elche are in danger of being relegated for financial reasons. Getafe owes money to the Spanish taxman (the Treasury) and is treading water at best. If they can get their debt at June 30 to below what it was in December, they might be OK, but that depends on when they receive the next installment of their TV money and, basically, juggling incomings and outgoings so they can (technically) survive. President Angel Torres insists the team is financially viable going forward; others are not so sure.
Elche's situation is even worse. They have owed players wages for some time, and also owe the taxman; their new president had reached an agreement to pay €3.7 million to the Treasury, but the money didn't show up. As of now, they have eight days to come up with €8 million. Elche has proposed paying some and providing a guarantee from a Swiss bank for the rest, but the taxman wants money, not guarantees. And it could be that on May 29, they are relegated to the Segunda B.
And even if they make it past this hurdle, they have to pay the players €5m, and if they don't they could be relegated to the Segunda A as a result.
In the past, teams were able to make promises of payment and continue increasing the debt to the taxman, but one effect of the Spanish financial crisis has been to end that cozy relationship. Elche has stayed afloat only because of aid from the Valencian Community Institute of Finance--which the European Community has been looking at--and although the team has survived to fight another year on the pitch, will the players' failure to be paid for three months result in them forcing the club's relegation?
The club has launched a campaign for a €14m capital increase, which would take care of the treasury debt and