I believe I did mention something awhile back about naming the stadium in Spanish might not sit well with everyone. Well, yesterday apparently there was a pushback from some hundred or so followers of the club on Twitter, who demanded either that the stadium name be the Valencian Estadí de la Ceramíca, or at least that that name get equal billing with the Spanish.
Apparently this did not sit well with the club, who blocked at least some of those people from accessing the club’s twitter account, if this report is to be believed.
To explain briefly, Villarreal (the team name) is Castilian Spanish. Vila-real (the town name) is Valencian. I have always understood it was a condition when Sr. Roig bought the team that the Villarreal CF name be retained; I do not know if there was a similar agreement as far as the name of the stadium. (El Madrigal is both standard Valencian and Spanish; if you wanted to say the Madrigal field, then it’s different—Camp el Madrigal or Campo el Madrigal).
The entire issue is politically sensitive since Catalan and Valencian are largely the same and there is a segment of Valencian society who are very keen to use the Valencian language but are anti-Catalan independence, another group who are pro-Valencian language and pro-Catalan independence. Not to mention the whole “Franco-made-people-use-Spanish thing” that casts a long shadow.
From the standpoint of the stadium name it probably does not matter much (we are talking about one letter difference, after all) but I would think a Spanish name would carry slightly more weight.
I hasten to add I have not been able to verify the blocking of accounts and such, nor have I been able to ascertain exactly who is behind this move; it appears to be a pro-Catalan group, which perhaps explains the reason behind the club’s strong response. I have not seen anything about this controversy in the local (on-line) paper, but apparently there has been some sort of a petition sent to the mayor of Vila-real to discuss the matter.
I expect it will blow over, and it is something the club had carefully considered before the rename, but we’ll see if this controversy goes anywhere. Now, back to the striker search...