Let’s be real for a few paragraphs. I’ve probably been less diligent than I ought to have been the last couple of weeks about putting together articles concerning the restart La Liga and I want to discuss why to hopefully create a further discussion among our community, here.
We’ve retweeted some of the news as it has happened from the Twitter account, and generally I do not think of SBNation sites as news outlets in any sense of the term. The two versions of value added sites like this one bring are 1. Community in a group of fans of the same team (so sign up and comment below!) and 2. Editorial thoughts on what’s going on. You can find out that La Liga is restarting 10,000 different places in the internet, but what do other Villarreal fans think about that? That’s where we (should) come in. So, with that in mind, I’ve been quiet largely because I really don’t know what to think or how to feel about La Liga restarting.
If there were no serious money involved, football would not be restarting. How do I know that? I only have to look at the local rec soccer league where I live that has had zero conversations about starting again yet. We are restarting this league because it would be crippling financially to not do so. That’s not even a cynical or terrible reason to restart the sport. There are all kinds of clubs in Spain (and other countries around the world) that rely on the financial success of their top flight to keep clubs alive all over the country. The financial power of La Liga is what keeps it from dropping to the levels that the Portuguese or Dutch leagues are currently at (fine leagues, to be sure, but not considered among the world’s elite). Clubs like Villarreal remaining financially viable mean that the smaller clubs around them that have monetary arrangements with Villarreal keep streams of revenue they wouldn’t have otherwise, etc.
So, while I get the ‘why’ and I’m not going to be one of these people that lectures La Liga on restarting or tries to pontificate about what clubs ‘should’ do concerning season ticket situations, etc (because this is an unprecented situation for everyone and we should be gracious) I have a hard time really feeling comfortable jumping withe excitement at La Liga returning, even though I miss football way way more than I thought I would.
Add on to this pile of confusion the fact that we have clubs in the league who have players still testing positive, and I’m not even sure that we’ll restart when they say we will. I have bet a scarf with Ian over at Celta USA that they play games before the end of June, because I think that’s still very likely, but all of this ‘teams going back to training’ stuff could be stories that ultimately don’t actually relate to a real return on the pitch.
So, instead or reporting an editorialized version of the news like we usually do, we’ve done stuff with Star Wars and Muppets and Video Games and History and Monday we’ll drop another interview with someone from the club, and it’s been fun (the readership numbers have been brutal, but I don’t blame y’all for not checking in as often), but I dunno, in the midst of a giant pandemic pushing ahead with sport just doesn’t feel natural, and I personally can’t get out of a funk enough to do my normal 2¢ on it.
I apologize to y’all, and we’ll try to do a better job getting articles up on the latest info in the near future, I just wanted to share where my head was at.