Charity Begins at Home

They say that charity begins at home and that may well be the case this winter. But this year there’s going to be a major problem on the island and we all need to do what we can to help others too. We’ve had a summer season that has never really got off the ground and the seasonal workers that normally work 6 months to get their PARO(unemployment benefit) for the winter aren’t going to get it this year. There is still at the time of writing not a clear way forward for everyone on the ERTE(furlough) scheme either which is a worry.

One of the charities we helped at the Radiothon were Yachting Gives Back, who have launched a food-raising campaign in which the yachting industry can help to alleviate poverty and hunger in the Balearics. They collect non-perishable foodstuffs & hygiene products and deliver them to those in need via local charities.

This has been extended to the help from the local community including me and my boys who along with loads of other volunteers were at Eroski in Bendinat last Friday Saturday and Sunday. We covered the hours of 9-11am Saturday morning and between all of us we managed to collect 13 trollies over the weekend all filled with essential foods for struggling families. 

I really enjoy doing it and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing that trolley fill up with things that you know will help others. And given to you by people that you’ve spoken to when they’ve come in. It’s also good for my boys to see, help and understand that there are families here on the island that do need our help. 

The charities that benefit are, Associació Tardor and Mallorca Sense Fam (Mallorca Without Hunger) who both deliver foodstuffs to those in need and the Shambhala Fundación who work with vulnerable young people

In the Asociación Tardor social canteen they try to meet the vital needs of people in extreme poverty. Currently, hundreds of meals are served in the social canteen and they also assist people via the Family Care Centre and Cas Vicari Food Bank. People are given shelter, breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, psychological care, social technical attention, job guidance and a decent place to visit to try to normalise their situation.

Founded in 2009, the mission of Mallorca Sense Fam and its many volunteers is to help deliver food (both non-perishable and fresh), baby food, personal hygiene and household products to improve the quality of life of people in poverty and to make the people of Mallorca more aware of the seriousness of the problem.

The youth of today is the prosperity of the island of tomorrow. In Shambhala they are carried away by their aspirations. That they are not bound by the circumstances. 

The Shambhala Foundation seeks to assist, help and promote the vulnerable young people of Mallorca who lack opportunities, education and / or guarantees. The Foundation will assist and support young people to reach their full physical, intellectual, social and educational potential through participation in four integrated programmes. 

Speaking to Nick who’s idea it was to set all this up, he said that anybody from anywhere on the island who needs help can visit these charities. He also said it would really help to have a few more volunteers on the supermarket food collection roster. So if you can spare a couple of hours for the next one, 9th to 11th of October, please contact him on 619 117 937. 

Even before the problems of this year there was always a winter poverty problem. Every Christmas we’ve been helping on the radio with the Radio One Mallorca Help a Mallorca Child & Age Concern Appeal.

Over the years we have ran this campaign, with your generosity, we have been able to bring Christmas cheer to hundreds of children and pensioners on the island. We’ve helped The Salvation Army, Fundación Nazareth, Son Espases and Age Concern amongst others. 

Already I’ve been offered toys and money donations and we are now in the process of looking at what we can do and who we can help this year. We must try and build a community spirit this winter and help as many people as we can to get through it. One thing I’ve learned about this island is how generous the people are so hopefully we can count on your support again this year. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

Luis Sitjar 75 years old

The Luis Sitjar stadium where Real Mallorca used to play their home games was 75 years old on Wednesday. The picture above is the very first team that played there, it was against Xerez and Mallorca won 3-0. They played there until 1999 when they moved to their current stadium. The B team carried on playing their games there until 2007 and then it fell into disrepair. In 2014 demolition work was started and completed in 2015. 

After last weeks defeat at home to Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca went to Barcelona to play favourites for promotion Espanyol. They had won 3-0 at home the previous week and Mallorca had lost 1-0 at home. Not forgetting our previous coach Vincente Moreno was now in charge of Espanyol. If you had said you can have a draw before the game I would have bitten your arm off. As it was they came out with a 0-0 draw. To be honest it was a fairly dull game but what Mallorca did show was the ability to shut a team out, something they couldn’t do last season. They’re still missing a centre forward to put the ball into the net as Budimir didn’t travel as his head has been turned by interest from Valladolid. The coach has said he only wants players who are 100% focused on playing for the team. Mallorca signed Budimir from Italian club Crotone where he’d been in and out of the team and his previous best scoring season was 2015/16 in Serie B where he got 16 goals. The only other double figures he reached was last season where he got 13 in La Liga. Valladolid have offered around 4.5 million euros, he has a buyout clause of 15 million euros which was inserted into his 4 year contract when Mallorca paid 2.2 million euros for him last season. Remember he signed the contract and now he’s sulking because they won’t let him go. Which totally winds me up about footballers, you’ve got a contract with a team that took you from obscurity and onto the big stage. So why not repay that faith by playing for the team that’s paying your wages and if a team comes in with your release clause then we’ll let you go. There’s a word I could use but I won’t. I liked what our coach said at the press conference. “Valladolid’s coach said that Budimir would be ideal for him, well he is ideal for me too!” He’s currently training on his own to get back up to speed after the International break. It’s a catch 22 situation for Mallorca with just under two weeks left of the transfer window. Let him go for less than his clause or keep him against his will? As the days pass by the chance of finding another striker are harder and I think they’re going to need to find one as Alex Alegría and Abdón Prats have shown they’re good squad players but not number 9 starters.

Couple of interesting little stories from the game. This particular Protocol I imagine is in all Spanish professional football but there’s no showers for the players after the game. The Mallorca players were taken back to their hotel in Barcelona and they showered there. 

Congratulations to Mallorcan born Antonio Sanchez, the 23 year old central midfield player who made his debut for Mallorca last weekend. He’s been with the club since the age of 12, he’s been on loan at Poblense, Baracaldo CF and Mirandes and last week he made his first team debut coming on as sub for Alex Febas. Just goes to show that hard work and patience works in the end. 

Atlético Baleares drew 0-0 in their latest friendly against Ucam Murcia. Centre back Cristian Perez has joined the club on a free transfer. He has played 162 times in Segunda B with Badajoz and Cornelia.

UD Poblense will play CD Ibiza Islas Pitiusas for the Trofeu Ibizkus this coming Sunday the 27th at 16.30. They’re allowing 1,000 fans in with a 10€ entrance charge and the gates will open one hour before the game. 

UD Ibiza won their first pre-season game against Peña Deportiva 2-1 in Santa Eulalia. Hector Martinez a 21 year old left back has joined the club on a 2 year deal from Merida. Jose Antonio Pardo has joined from Extremadura on a 1 year deal. The 32 year old centre half has plenty of experience in the lower leagues. They are currently in La Manga where last night they defeated Real Murcia 2-0. They play tonight against CD El Ejido and UCAM Murcia on Saturday. 

Penya Deportiva after their loss to UD Ibiza will play Villareal B tomorrow at 19.30 and CD Roda at 11.00 on Sunday. They’ve signed two players Aaron Sanchez a winger from Depor Fabril and another winger Ioan Yakovlev from Arandina.  

As far as local football is concerned, Marvin Park made his debut for Real Madrid on Sunday night. The midfielder born in Mallorca, joined Tranmere Rovers’ youth academy as a nine-year-old in 2009, and spent three years in the North West before returning to Mallorca and playing for Ciutat de Palma and Atlético Rafal. He then went onto develop at La Salle and Jonquet Penya Arrabal both in Palma, before Madrid snapped up the youngster in 2016, and Park has flourished at Los Blancos ever since. 

The highest league in junior football in Spain is Juvenil Division Honor. Mallorca have 3 teams in Group 3, Sub Group A, Real Mallorca, Penya Arrabal and CD San Francisco, the club where my boys play. They haven’t got it easy this year though as in their group are, Barcelona, RCD Espanyol, FC Girona, UE Cornellà, CE Europa, AT. Villacarlos and CF Damm. They start on November 1st. 

The FFIB(Federación de Futbol de Islas Balears) have said that Juvenil, Cadete and Infantil games should begin at the end of October. They will be split into Sub-Groups of 10 teams meaning 18 games to play. Each team will play each other back to back, as in home one week and away the following week. That will be followed by a weekend off. Meaning that if ever there was a breakout of Covid it will be confined to just 2 teams. 

Alevin, Benjamin and Pre-Benjamin will not begin until January 2021 and this will depend on what the Government decides. 

Episode 9 of A Kick in The Balearics will be out tomorrow on you tube and on podcast on too. We have just launched on Spotify on Apple iTunes and on all smart speakers through the Tunein radio App. If you have any interesting stories on your local Balearic club then please get in touch and follow us on all social media. 

Take care everyone, I’m back at the Weekend. 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

Remember These?

July the 15th 2016 probably wouldn’t be a date you’d remember for any particular reason. So let me jog your memory. Low Cost Holidays collapsed and went into administration. The administrator, claimed that there were  approximately 27,000 customers on holiday at the time and 110,000 who had booked trips but were yet to depart. 

Lowcostholidays didn’t have an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL), because in 2013 it moved its business to here in Mallorca.

Under the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s ATOL protection scheme, if you book a flight with accommodation and/or car hire, or in some cases a flight on its own, with a UK travel firm, if the firm that organises your travel goes bust you can continue your holiday if abroad or get a refund if still in the UK. However, this protection didn’t apply in this case.

Lowcostholidays had a “limited warranty”, with just €1.2 million (around £1 million at current exchange rates) set aside to compensate customers who booked both flights and accommodation. Divided between all the 137,000 affected customers, that amounted to a paltry £7 per booking. How did they get away with it?

What about October 2nd 2017? The day Monarch Airlines collapsed. The failure of Monarch, the largest British airline to go bust, affected nearly 900,000 passengers in total. It marooned more than 100,000 tourists abroad, prompting what was billed at the time as the country’s biggest peacetime repatriation. Monarch’s problem was it was it was neither one thing nor the other. It was not really a package holiday airline, nor was it really a low-cost airline. 

September 23rd, 2019? Can you see a pattern here? It was the date that Thomas Cook, the Worlds oldest travel company went bust. At that time it had debts of $2.1 Billion. They employed 21,000 people who overnight were out of work. Hundreds of thousands of travelers were left stranded across the world. The UK government launched its latest largest ever peacetime repatriation to bring 150,000 passengers home. There were 600,000 passengers in total across the World that were stranded. There were a huge number of businesses directly or indirectly affected by their demise with many owed thousands of euros. Thomas Cook had stopped settling its bills in the Balearic Islands from August 20th, even earlier in some cases, telling suppliers it could not part with any cash until mid-October for “operational reasons”. The real murky thing in all this was staff jetted from Majorca to London with £5.3million hours before the travel giant’s collapse, it was alleged. The cash was allegedly raked in from 20 hotels in the Balearic Islands and flown back to Britain by private jet, Spanish newspaper Ultima Hora reported. 

So why did I bring these stories up? 

Well it covers a tour operator, an online travel agent, an airline and all three were major players in Mallorcan tourism. It shows that even pre-Covid how difficult the travel industry has become in the last 4 years. Think about the losses incurred by airlines, hotels, car hire companies, excursions and all related industries with these companies disappearing. That’s tough and I haven’t even talked about 2020!

Interestingly a couple of stories broke this week that link to the stories above. 

Thomas Cook are now making a comeback! Yes just a year after leaving debts left, right and centre, the firm which said “don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it!” are back. From being a traditional Tour Operator they’ve reformed as an Online Travel Agent(OTA) which was exactly what Low cost holidays were. How have they been able to do that just a year after going under? The Thomas Cook brand, including the ‘sunny heart logo’, and website were bought from the liquidators by Chinese firm Fosun last year for £11 million.  Fosun who just happen to be one of the major shareholders in the company formerly known as……yes you’ve guessed it Thomas Cook! They were one of the companies that decided not to pump more money into the ailing business. 

Not sure how the people that were owed money are going to take this, it will be interesting to see. 

OTA’s as they’re known have become very popular in the travel industry. You may have heard of “Dynamic Packaging” which is how these firms operate. So rather than buying a package holiday these firms buy the flight, hotel, transfers and sometimes car hire separately. 

Where these firms have struggled particularly in these post COVID times is in refunds. The biggest problem is the flights as airlines will leave cancellations until the last minute. This has been highlighted more this week by another couple of OTA’s On The Beach and Love Holidays. Both are unhappy about ABTA’s insistence on full refunds for package holiday makers. Basically because of the constantly changing position of the Government which meant they were struggling to get the airlines to refund money. So they’ve resigned from ABTA.  Both insist that this will not affect customer holidays and they are fully covered by ATOL.

The travel industry right now is not in a good place and is looking for those green shoots of recovery. I’ve met with a few Operators these past 2 weeks and I’m detecting slowly but surely they’re confident of it returning. As I’ve said I’m always glass half full, so let’s hope that the plan our Government are obviously taking so much time on is going to be a good one(I’m not holding my breathe by the way) and 2020 will be put to bed and 2021 comes back with a huge bang. #Mallorca2021

Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

Mallorca Lose

A disastrous start to Real Mallorca’s season last weekend as they lost 0-1 at home to Rayo Vallecano. I was very confident going in as they’d had such a good pre-season. Maybe I should have been more cautious against a team who’d finished 7th last year in La Liga 2. Also they were managed by Andoni Iraola who looked like he was coming to Mallorca in the Summer. Maybe we picked the wrong one? Bit of a strange line-up with Salva Sevilla and last years top scorer Budimir on the bench. Maybe Budimir was on the bench as he’d been on International duty but that didn’t stop centre half Martin Valjent. Or maybe as more likely his head has been turned by interest from Valladolid in La Liga. If we do lose him we are going to have to find someone who can put the ball in the onion bag. Just the small matter of Espanyol away this weekend managed by our former manager Vincente Moreno. Never has there been a better time to get an away win but against a team that beat Albacete 3-0 last weekend won’t be easy. Kick-off is at 4pm on Sunday. Two players have left the squad, Sergio Buenacasa has left for CF Hercules and Pablo Valcarce has gone to CD Ponferradina. The Segunda B and Tercera division will begin on October the 18th. As we said before it’s all change into how the leagues are being played. Segunda B starts in October and the first phase finishes on March 14th 2021. After that it gets a bit confusing so I’ll leave it there for now.Atlético Baleares will kick off their season on October 18th with a home game against Inter de Madrid.
Ud Poblense beat them 2-0 in their traditional opening season friendly “Trofeu Casa Miss”. Something that went under the radar was that 1,000 fans were allowed in to watch the game. Their ground holds 8,000 people so that’s just over 10% allowed inside. I hope that’s a sign of things to come. Atlético just played today(Wednesday) and lost 1-2 against CF Hercules. Brazilian centre forward Vinicius Tanque has just signed from Cartagena who he helped get promotion to La Liga 2 last season. I’ll let you guess his nickname. Scottish U-21 international Jordan Holsgrove who was on loan at Atletico Baleares last season from Reading has signed a two year deal for Celta. He will play for their B side in Segunda B group 2.
UD Poblense after that impressive win over Atlético Baleares will open their league campaign against Athletico Madrid B away on October 18th.
UD Ibiza will play Atlético Levante UD away in their first game of the season on October the 18th. Their pre-season games run like this; September 20th, 19.00 v Peña Deportiva, behind closed doors. 
They then go to La Manga where they’ll play; Sept 23rd, 19.30 v Real Murcia, Sept 24th, 19.00 v CD El Ejido 2012
Sept 26th, 10.30 v Ucam Murcia Back in Ibiza on Oct 4th, 12.00 v Peña Deportiva.
The Consell de Mallorca have offered families here in Mallorca a subsidy aimed at granting aid to help with the expenses arising from the registration of children and young people between the ages of 6 and 16 in extra-curricular sports activities.Here is the link;
https://seu.conselldemallorca.net/es/ficha?key=54862&fbclid=IwAR0uI0HXuY5BcJwb_Gq4TbMq_gEEeFdT8C3AaiJvqz1sNxOILy7XsXoHl28
Applications for subsidy can be submitted from September 15th 2020 until October 30th, 2020, or until the budget runs out. They must be presented to,

Rosa M Guillén Ripoll
Head of the Sport Development Section Department of Tourism and Sports Insular Sports Management Ca l ‘ Ardiaca road, 5. 07010 Palma

Episode 8 of A Kick in The Balearics will be out tomorrow on you tube and on podcast on too. We have just launched on Spotify on Apple iTunes and on all smart speakers through the Tunein radio App. If you have any interesting stories on your local Balearic club then please get in touch and follow us on all social media. Take care everyone, I’m back at the Weekend. Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online atwww.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

Positivity Please!

I wanted to start with some headlines that made the papers this week. In the UK there was “There goes Christmas”, “Christmas to bring little cheer”, PM fears threat to Christmas”. Even here the Majorca Daily Bulletin had the headline “Christmas On Hold”(Sorry Ed!). Now haven’t we been through enough this year without the threat of no Christmas? There’s still 103 sleeps to go, so surely those headlines can wait a little? I’m a glass half full person, so a bit more positivity please media people! 
Two words have made there way into the English language in the past 6 months. Back in the UK it’s furlough and over here it’s ERTE, pronounced Airtay or as most ex-pats call it Errtea. Actually make that three as I just found out that in Mallorquín it’s pronounced Airtoe! Didn’t he play up front for Mallorca and Barcelona? Last week in the UK there were reports of over payment in the furlough scheme. Up to £3.5 billion of furlough money may have been paid out in wrong or fraudulent claims, according to official estimates from the government. HMRC has calculated that between 5% and 10% of payments have been wrongly calculated, possibly as a result of employers abusing the scheme. The total bill for the job retention programme, which has paid 80% of the wages of workers placed on leave due to coronavirus, currently stands at more than £35 billion. 
There is a similar situation here in the Balearics where we find out this week that around 12 million euros has been wrongly paid out to workers here. Now I know a little bit more about the scheme here than the UK so let me comment. Firstly in both cases this money was paid out so there wasn’t a total collapse of the jobs market in both countries. Rishi Sunak was rightly praised for the UK scheme and always came across well in interviews. Over here we have more experience in this as our tourism industry is seasonal, so most people will work May to October. Which means in the winter the Government pays something called “el Paro”, basically unemployment benefit. To keep the workforce on the island ready for the following season. To receive it, you’ll need to have made social security contributions for at least a year (defined as 360 days). This contribution period allows you to receive the benefit for four months (120 days). During this time, you’ll need to give evidence that you’re actively trying to find a job.You can claim unemployment benefit in the following instances:Your work contract comes to an end and your employer decides not to renew it.
You get sacked from your position.Your employer reduces your hours by more than a third. How much you’ll receive in unemployment benefit depends on what you’ve been earning in Spain. Calculations are based on the average salary from which you’ve been making contributions for the six months before becoming unemployed. Theoretically, you can receive 70% of that average for 180 days, then 50% thereafter, though limits are in place. So with that experience you would have thought that although we are talking much higher numbers with the ERTE the system should be able to cope? The problem was that it didn’t. They had to bring a load of people to help who basically didn’t know what they were doing. You’d have thought that the one of the only entities actually looking for people at that time would have employed people who actually knew what they were doing? Which I believe has led to the mistakes. I know of people that haven’t received any money yet and I’ll be honest I couldn’t really tell you if I’d been overpaid or underpaid as the formula doesn’t seem to match what I’ve been told. If you’re a company or an individual, try to speak to someone who can help you, it’s impossible. It’s like entering the secret service and if you do manage to get through then good luck explaining your problem. If people have been blatantly scamming the system then they should be made to pay the money back but I think in most cases the mistakes have come from the department that sorts it all out. I’ll give two personal examples of how the system just isn’t working. We sold our flat in Son Caliu 15 years ago and yet I am still registered as living there as my entitlement for the ERTE was sent there. We’ve told them countless times but they don’t update the system. This week at Pirates we had to send proof of the fact that we were not open. I promise you this is no lie. It makes you wonder doesn’t it. Today is September 12th and people who like me are on a year round contract, still do not know if the ERTE will be extended. The current deal is to the end of this month and at a meeting held last Friday there was still no agreement. It’s going to be a tough winter for a lot of people and for most the ERTE is a lifeline. There’s talk of mixing ERTE and PARO, don’t ask, I didn’t! But something needs to be done to help businesses and people. 
Nothing will be better than a Christmas and a season to look forward to next year. 
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend! Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

Season Ticket Renewed

Xavi Sintes, who you may remember I wrote about a couple of weeks ago has had two great things happen to him in the past few weeks. After winning the UEFA Youth Cup, the Menorquin footballer who played for CD San Francisco here in Mallorca has been moved from the Real Madrid U19 team to their B team Real Madrid Castilla. Managed by former Real Madrid legend Raul and interestingly they are playing in the same group as Atlético Baleares and UD Poblense in Segunda B.
Steve Nash a co-owner at Real Mallorca and the former basketball player whose career took him to the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers has just been appointed as the head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets. After retiring from Basketball he has done various consulting roles, covered soccer in the US and became a co-owner at Mallorca. I wonder if he has football management dreams in the future?La Liga 2 starts this weekend with Real Mallorca beginning at home on Sunday at 16.00 against Rayo Vallecano. With no fans permitted yet we’ll have to be content with the TV. I renewed my season tickets yesterday and the club said there’s no definite date for fans to return. I’ve predicted my top six below. 

  1. Real Mallorca 
  2. Espanyol 
  3. Girona 
  4. Rayo Vallecano 
  5. Leganés 
  6. Real Zaragoza 

Real Mallorca and Sporting Gijon were the only two clubs in La Liga 2 that hadn’t yet made a signing in the transfer window. Well that was the case until yesterday when Brian Olivan arrived in Mallorca from Cadiz. The left back was on loan with Girona last season. With 28 players still in the squad they’re looking to offload before they sign anyone else. It’s been a pretty good pre-season for Mallorca after losing their first game to La Liga side Levante 2-1, they’ve won the next three against teams they are due to play in La LIga 2, Tenerife, Castellón and Lugo. The other bonus is they didn’t concede a goal in those three games either. Let’s hope they continue that form.
The top 20 clubs with the most interactions on Instagram in August in Segunda B has been revealed with Deportivo La Coruña way out at the top with 214,000. There’s 102 clubs amongst the 5 divisions and 10 sub-groups, Atlético Baleares were 9th with just under 50,000 and UD Ibiza 10th with just over 47,000.
David Goldar has become UD Ibiza’s fifth signing of the season. The centre back has signed from Gimnastic de Tarragona and has good experience in Segunda B having played for Cornelia, Pontvedra, Ponferradina and Celta B previously. This was closely followed by Joshua Perez an American winger who’s joined from Castellon. He has also played in Serie A in Italy and the MLS in the States.
Penya Deportiva beat SD Formentera from the third division 5-1 in a friendly at the weekend. They have just signed a 21 year old goalkeeper Fran Martínez from Hercules CF.
UD Poblense have released their season ticket prices. Tickets start at 30€ & go all the way up to 200€.They play their traditional pre-season game against Atlético Baleares this coming Saturday at 19.00.Atlético Baleares then play CF Hercules next Wednesday and Elche the following Saturday.
Episode 7 of A Kick in The Balearics will be out today on you tube and on podcast on too. We have just launched on Spotify on Apple iTunes and on all smart speakers through the Tunein radio App. If you have any interesting stories on your local Balearic club then please get in touch and follow us on all social media. Take care everyone, I’m back at the Weekend. Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online atwww.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

Our Kids do need Education!


Firstly a big thank you to everyone who read, shared and sent me messages about my scribes from last week. It was read here, Ibiza, Mainland Spain, Canaries, UK, Ireland, Jersey, USA, France, Malta, Norway, Italy, Sweden, China, Australia, Turkey, Netherlands and Portugal. I read in this paper that Antonio Garamendi, the President of the CEOE Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations has called for a comprehensive assistance plan for tourism, an extension of ERTE until Easter next year, and efforts to be made to restore Spain’s image overseas as soon as possible.Garamendi emphasised that tackling the crisis facing the tourism industry is not just about ERTEs or credit from the government’s ICO Instituto de Crédito Oficial. “There has to be a comprehensive aid plan.”The CEOE is proposing measures to facilitate liquidity, boost demand and reduce operating costs. Liquidity, the confederation says, requires maintaining and even extending debt deferrals with the tax agency and social security and continuing with ICO credit guarantees. With regard to operating costs, ERTE should be maintained until there is a recovery in demand, while there should also be greater flexibility in negotiating rents. To boost demand, the CEOE wants to see a marketing campaign that will restore Spain’s image; health measures to generate confidence among tourists; the reestablishment of air connectivity; the facilitation of travel medical insurance for foreign tourists; and a reduction in the rate of IVA (VAT) as it applies to the tourism sector from ten per cent to seven per cent for the rest of this year and for 2021.
He must have read my column! 

Taking a break from Tourism this week, I wanted to talk about education. Remember Friday the 14th of March? I’m sure most parents out there will as that was the last time our kids were in school. Normally at this time of year we’ll all be tearing our hair out as they’ve been off since mid June for the Summer holidays. This has now been six months and never has there been a more important time for children and their education here on the island. Naturally schools, teachers and parents are worried about what is to come. In fact the only ones who aren’t worrying are the kids themselves. The majority would prefer to get back, see their friends and to start learning again. We should take a look at Scotland as a perfect test case, they have been back for a month now and their experience offers lessons for us here in Mallorca as our children head back to classrooms.Firstly the job I’m in involves knowing as much about news as possible. Let’s face it the media love a negative but I for one haven’t seen any dramatic Covid 19 news about schools in Scotland. They’ve had lockdowns in different areas but the schools remain open. A school closure would be a massive story with schools in England and Wales also returning over this week and next week. So far so good and we should take comfort from that. I have a friend who has a prominent position in Scottish Education and was told the following for some regions last Monday;Grampian; Secondary school in Aberdeen closed for one day but reopened.Glasgow; South Glasgow closed for isolation and a number of primary schools had the the odd case but no closures.Paisley; A few school outbreaks no closures.Greenock; No closures.These are in the more built up areas where cases are always more prominent. There’s been the odd case but nothing major it seems to be all contained. As of last Monday pupils in Scotland will now have to wear face masks in school corridors and communal areas to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.The new rules, apply to all children over 12 and on school transport for primary pupils five and above. Experts say that while children and young people are six times less likely to suffer seriously from Covid-19 than older people, they can still spread the disease. Provisional data for last Tuesday showed 87.5% attendance at Scottish schools, compared with 93% for the 2018-19 school year, which is positive.Prof Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said  “Sadly, over 5,000 children die every year in the UK. Some contract infections such as measles or are killed in road traffic accidents.We don’t stop them from going to school or getting in cars. We make them wear seat belts, we tell them not to play in the road and we vaccinate them.”A British Medical Journal study looked at 651 children with coronavirus in hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland.It covers two-thirds of all children’s admissions in the UK due to Covid-19 between January and July and confirms what is already known about the minimal effects of the virus on children. A “strikingly low” 1% of these 651 children and young people – six in total – had died in hospital with Covid-19 compared with 27% across all other age groups, the study found. 18% of the children needed intensive care.The six who had unfortunately died had had “profound” underlying health conditions that had often been complex and themselves life-limiting.Children with such conditions remain vulnerable to the virus and must take precautions, the researchers said. But for others, the risk was extremely low.”There have been no deaths in otherwise healthy school-age children,” said study author Prof Calum Semple, from the University of Liverpool.”There is no direct harm from children going back to school,” he added.Co-author Dr Olivia Swann, from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, in Edinburgh, said she hoped the findings would be “extremely reassuring for parents across the UK”.I hope too for all parents over here. I support all the measures being put in place for the schools here, to some people it might seem too much but if it means we can turn to normality quicker I’m all for it. I want my kids to get back in school and not to miss out any more. This is not just about their education, it’s about their sociability, their mentality and their physicality. We will have to learn to live with this virus for the foreseeable future but what we can’t do is let it run our lives. Positivity is the way forward to get this thing beaten and I know that’s not easy for some but we must pull together like we did in the lockdown. 
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend! Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

Marco back at Mallorca?

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Marco Asensio probably one of the best players to come out of the Balearic Islands was back in Mallorca this week doing some pre-season preparation at Real Mallorca’s training ground, Son Biblioni. Marco is another player who like Pablo Ramon, who i talked about last week has come up from local youth football. He started at Playas de Calvia, moved to Real Mallorca and then was transferred to Real Madrid. He loves Mallorca and kindly signed a shirt for my boys a couple of years ago.
Another great local story is Carlos Vicens who was born in Colonia de San Jordi in Mallorca and was the academy director and assistant manager at CD Llosetense. He has just been promoted to Head Coach of Manchester City’s U-18 team. He joined City in 2017 and he initially worked with the U12s and U13s before becoming assistant to Gareth Taylor for the U18s for the last two seasons. The team were top of the table when the season was prematurely ended because of coronavirus in March. At the end of May, it was announced that Taylor was leaving his position with the U18s to become manager of Manchester City Women. It’s a great achievement and another success story for the island.
Real Mallorca’s fixtures are out for the 2020/21 season. They start at home to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday September 13th at 16.00. Their first away game the following Sunday at 16.00 is interestingly against Espanyol managed by their former boss Vincente Moreno which should be a feisty one. That’s then followed by two home games against Sabadell and Tenerife. Since last week they have played three friendlies against La Liga side Levante losing 2-1 and 2-0 wins against La Liga 2 opponents Tenerife and Castellón, which is promising. It has been announced that the “Trofeu Ciutat de Palma” which is normally the official kick off to the season has been cancelled. This normally includes an introduction of the squad to the crowd followed by a game against an invited team. With the current COVID situation and the fact there can’t be any spectators the club have decided to cancel it this year.
11,000 season ticket holders have renewed their tickets and as of Tuesday new applications are being taken. The Lluis Sitjar behind the goal is now full which is great news. Worth remembering that with Mallorca one of the favourites for promotion this season, that anyone who has a ticket this season will get first choice for one next season if they do go up.
As well as the Segunda division fixtures being announced, the Segunda B was announced too. Now to say this is confusing is an understatement but I’m going to try and explain. There are 102 teams divided into 3 groups of 10 and 2 groups of 11 and then divided into 10 sub-groups. Actually after reading it and trying to get my head around it I’m not going to bother as it’s far too complicated! I will try and get a simpler version.
Atlético Baleares have been drawn in Group 5 sub-group A with UD Poblense and CDA Navalcarnero, Rayo Majadahonda, Atlético Madrid B, Getafe B, Las Rozas CF, Real Madrid Castilla, Dux Internacional de Madrid, UD San Sebastián de Los Reyes,
UD Ibiza and Penya Deportiva have been drawn in Group 3 Sub-Group B along with Alcoyano, Atletico Levante, Atzeneta UE, CF La Nucía, Hercules de Alicante, Orihuela CF, Valencia Mestalla, Villareal B.
Baleares have released their new kit. It’s blue and white striped but with more stripes this year.
They have also launched their season ticket campaign. Renewals of season tickets from last season started on Tuesday until the 14th of September. New applications will be taken from September 28th and tickets can be ordered online or at their other stadium at Son Malferit near to Ikea. Their website is very good, in English and explains everything really well.
Goalkeeper Kellyan García has joined UD Ibiza on loan from Malaga. Penya Deportiva have signed attacking midfielder Nico Contesa from Real Betis. The 19 year old comes on a season long loan. Centre forward Antonio Lopez has joined on a free transfer from CyD Leonesa.
The start of pre-season has been changed countless times at my sons club CD San Francisco. Due to the Government and the Football Federation protocols they have now been given the go ahead. Hopefully these dates won’t be moved.
The Juveniles have been training for nearly a month now. The Cadetes will start on September 7th, Infantiles on the 14th, Alevines, Benjamines and Pre-Benjamines on the 21st.
Episode 6 of A Kick in The Balearics will be out tomorrow on you tube and on podcast on Thursday. We have just launched on Spotify on Apple iTunes and on all smart speakers through the Tunein radio App. If you have any interesting stories on your local Balearic club then please get in touch and follow us on all social media.
Take care everyone, I’m back at the Weekend.
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, onlineatwww.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

My Glass is Half Full

photo collage from mallorca vacations
If the death of the UK Tourist market hadn’t already happened this summer in the Balearics then it was pretty much done when Jet2 announced this week that they were stopping all flights and holidays to the islands for the rest of the year. Don’t be surprised if Tui follow suit soon. Whilst I’m sure that Easyjet and Ryanair will cut back their services, I hope they continue a frequent enough one in the winter months.
One positive to come out from the Jet2 statement is “We can assure our partners in the Balearic Islands that we remain completely committed to these fantastic destinations. Bookings for next summer are looking strong and we cannot wait to be back doing what we do best, working with hoteliers and our partners in Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca to make sure our customers enjoy their well deserved holidays.”
If ever there was a wake up call to the Government here then there it was in that statement. Last week I said the Government needs to come up with ideas to restart the tourist industry. With Mallorca’s Tourism GDP at 44% and when you add in all the other industries it touches you’re looking at 85%. It is a massive problem for the island and it needs to come up with solutions as soon as possible.
The biggest problem in my view is we have a coalition Government both in Spain and the Balearics. The problem with a coalition is nothing gets done because they can never get a majority to agree on anything. Do you remember the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition in the UK? A total mess and nothing got done. The other problem you have is you’ve got Civil Servants working in Ministerial positions where they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. That comes from comments I’ve heard from people on all sides of the political spectrum. Most of the posturing is done so the media can put positive messages out there but in reality they’re publicity stunts.
So what can they do?
Well firstly to ensure that the whole infrastructure of the island doesn’t fall apart they are going to have to extend the ERTE(furlough scheme) either to December or to March. Note that Germany have just extended theirs until the end of next year. We all know it will cost us in taxes over the coming years but what other choice do we have?
Business confidence is at an all time low. The ones that opened after they were given assurances by the Government feel they’ve been thrown to the wolves. The others who were told they couldn’t open also feel let down at not being given the chance. For most, by the time we reach next April it will have been 18 months without any money coming in. You think of your business and could it survive that amount of inactivity?
The ERTE has helped but let’s be honest it doesn’t compensate the money lost.
Once you’ve assured businesses that they can carry on then you’ve got to encourage them to re-open and get people off the ERTE and paying back into the system. Offer them tax breaks and social security breaks. The biggest fear for business is the costs they incur on staff. For instance for someone earning 1,000€ a month, the cost to the company is approximately 1,300€. On average the costs work out another 30% on top of their wage. Try and get that cost down.
Drop the rate of IVA(VAT) down to 4%. This has been mentioned by one political party. Some businesses currently pay 10% and others 21%. That would make a hell of a difference to someone’s bottom line at the end of the season.
Once you’ve got the businesses open you need to get the airlines and Tour Operators to bring the people. Reduce the landing fees for planes. Palma is the third most expensive airport to land in behind Madrid and Barcelona. The airport is privately run by a company called AENA but surely they don’t want an empty airport? I’m sure the Government could compensate them in some way.
I would suspend or get rid of the Tourist Tax. Does anybody know where the money goes? Does all of it really go to projects that are affected by Tourism? Can you name any of the projects the money went to? I’d be happy to sit with anybody who can explain to me where this goes as I can then hold my hands up and say I was wrong.
Hoteliers will have to look at reducing rates to get more business in. We are not in the heydays of the 80’s and 90’s where there was no competition. They have to be realistic and look to extend the season as long as possible. Easter falls at the beginning of April next year so if we can get this right, there is a great opportunity to have at least a 7 month season. Wouldn’t it be amazing to extend that beyond into November too?
Can someone please construct a Love Island Villa that can deal with social distancing? Love it or loathe it, to have our island in the homes of 4-5 million people every evening is a must. You can’t buy that advertising.
We must work on welcoming tourists to our island. Customer Service should be at the top of everyone’s agenda. The Government doesn’t have a great track record on encouraging tourists. In fact it has been accused of being anti-tourism in the past with measures such as the Tourist Tax, Holiday rentals, reducing cruise ship numbers and alcohol laws. But now is the time to wipe the slate clean and show the World that as soon as is possible we will be back and open for business.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Mallorca in my opinion is one of the best holiday destinations in the World. We’re an island with turquoise blue waters, secret coves, soft golden sands, lush green foliage, rugged mountains, picturesque villages, amazing cuisine, emerging wines, the best excursions, bustling nightlife and a vibrant capital city. We’re also an island in the Med only a couple of hours flight from most European cities.
What more could you want? Spread the word #Mallorca2021
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend!
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

G.O.A.T

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On Tuesday afternoon the global soccer world was sent into shockwaves when reports broke that Lionel Messi had informed FC Barcelona that he intends to opt out of his contract and leave the club. The club has since confirmed that they did receive the request, which was sent via burofax.
Which begs the question: What on Earth is a burofax?
Well, it’s a method of business communication, popular in Spain, that allows people to send a secure document that will be recognised in a court or by a third party. I think we would call it a registered delivery in the UK.
Now he’s expressed a desire to leave who will be able to afford him? Apparently he currently earns £51,376.000 basic yearly wages (£988.000 a week), £9.100.000 per year on image rights, £13.000.000 a year on possible bonuses(goals,assists,trophies) plus signing on & loyalty fee (£120.000.000 over 5 years). Nice work if you can get it! You’d have to say Manchester City, who have an advantage with Guardiola in charge. The other team would be losing Champions League Finalists Paris Saint Germain. What a front 3 that would be, Messi, Mbappe and Neymar. It would be great to see him in the Premier League, I’ve been lucky enough or unlucky in most cases to see him play. I’ve seen him destroy my teams Arsenal and Real Mallorca on numerous occasions. Let’s see I’m sure there’s lots of twists and turns to come.
It’s been just over a year, but finally the 20 teams have been decided for the 2020/21 La Liga season. Elche were the final team to go up after they beat Girona by 1-0 in the play-offs. Elche like Mallorca before them have managed 2 promotions in the last 2 seasons via the play-offs. To top it all off and to show you how mad Spanish football is Jose Rojo “Pacheta” their coach has now left the club!
Looking at it from a Real Mallorca point of view, of the 3 teams that got relegated in the 2018/19 season. Girona finished 5th and as you’ve seen lost in the play-off final. Huesca finished 1st and went straight back up and Rayo Vallecano finished 7th just outside the play-offs.
So as long as they get off to a good start, they have every chance of going straight back up. In fact the three teams that have gone down will be the favourites to go back up. Espanyol’s squad value far outweighs the rest of the league at just over £100 million compared to Mallorca in second place at just over £40 million.
They have arrived in Murcia to carry on their pre-season training and to play 3 games against Levante tomorrow, Tenerife on the 29th and Castellón on the 1st. The new coach has taken a squad of 28 with all the usual faces of last year and good to see the youngsters Luka Romero and Rafael Obrador included. In fact if they can keep that team together it does look good on paper. Centre back Martin Valjent has been selected in the Slovakia squad to play the Czech Republic and Israel in the week leading up to Mallorca’s opening game of the season.
They are up to 10,132 season ticket holders that have renewed their tickets. From today season ticket holders have the opportunity to change to seats that haven’t been renewed and from September 1st they are taking new applications.
Atlético Baleares started their pre-season on Monday with all the squad going through fitness and Covid checks. An important signing for them this week is left winger Dani Pichin, who’s played more than 200 games in Segunda B helping Ponferradina and Rayo Majadahonda to promotion.
UD Ibiza released their new kit this week. They are normally in sky blue like Manchester City but I detect a slightly darker blue this season. New signings this week are centre forward Ekain and Manu Molina an attacking midfielder.
UD Poblense are working hard on retaining as many of their players from last season as possible. Coach Oscar Troya said on Spanish radio this week “the first objective of the season is to win our first game.”
Two former players from the CD San Francisco Division Honor 2017/18 team have just won UEFA Youth League playing for Real Madrid. Xavi Sintes from Menorca and Pablo Ramon from Calvia, Mallorca who played previously for Son Caliu, both played in the team that beat Benfica 3-2. They are currently being managed by former legendary player Raul. It shows that with hard work and dedication players from the islands can achieve great things.
Episode 5 of A Kick in The Balearics will be out today on you tube and on podcast on Friday. We have just launched on Spotify and are awaiting confirmation on Apple iTunes and on all smart speakers through the Tunein radio App. If you have any interesting stories on your local Balearic club then please get in touch and follow us on all social media.
Take care everyone, I’m back at the Weekend.
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online atwww.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one’ll night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com