La Liga is back!

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Pedro Sanchez announced last weekend that tourists would be allowed back into Spain from the 1st of July. It’s a huge turnaround from where we’ve been over the last few weeks and great news for the island. However more needs to be done to encourage the bars, cafes, restaurants, hotels and excursions to open here on the island. You may have noticed that we may be in phase 2 but the main tourist resorts are dead. Number one of course there’s no tourists but at the moment there’s no incentive for businesses to open. One of the main factors is social security. Right now if you are a company that employs 100 people who are all currently on Erte(furlough) and you want to start cleaning your premises with say with 1 person. The Government are currently saying you have to pay the social security not just for the 1 that you’ve employed but you have to pay 25% in May and 45% in June for the other 99 too! That’s a crazy situation to penalise companies employing people. You are not only removing them so the Government doesn’t have to pay them but you will be paying back into the system too. Companies have suffered enough already so don’t make it even more difficult for them.
This week I wanted to pick up on something else the Prime Minister announced last week. As long as everything goes well in the coming days and weeks then we will see the return of La Liga on June 8th, with the first match expected to be the derby between Sevilla and Real Betis on Thursday June 11th. All matches will be played behind closed doors, there are 11 games to play this season, with leaders Barcelona two points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the division.
More importantly at the bottom of the league it’s a chance for Real Mallorca to get themselves out of the relegation places. They currently lie third bottom on 25 points with Leganés and Espanyol below them on 23 and 20 points respectively. Above them are Celta Vigo on 26, Eibar on 27 and Real Valladolid on 29 points. I’d say these are the six teams scrambling to avoid relegation.
Mallorca’s remaining games are;
Home: Barcelona, Leganés, Celta Vigo, Levante and Granada.
Away: Villareal, Real Madrid, Atlético Bilbao, Atlético Madrid, Sevilla and Osasuna.
Like last season their home form is much better than their away form but just before we went into lockdown they got their first away win of the season 1-2 at Eibar which also pulled them into the relegation battle. I think they can win 4 out of 5 of their home games except of course Barcelona. Away though is very hard to call looking at the fixtures but if you take last season as a guide they are going to have to get at least 1 away win bearing in mind they do win the 4 at home. That would put them on the 40 point mark. Last season Celta Vigo finished fourth bottom with 41 points to avoid relegation and Girona finished third bottom on 37 points and were relegated. It’s a tough ask especially with no fans at any of the games. Without doubt the players were inspired last season on their way to promotion by the home support but it’s the same for all teams.
Looking at the experience of the German Bundesliga who are two weeks into their return. I would say they need to pipe the crowd atmosphere into the stadium. You need someone with a football knowledge who can see when things are happening in the game and add pre-recorded crowd reaction. It’s a bit like a DJ who knows what to play at certain times in a nightclub but using crowd singing and noise. I’m happy to volunteer! Another idea used in Germany by Borussia Monchengladbach fans was to buy 12,000 cardboard cut outs of themselves and place them in their stadium to make it look busy. A slightly better idea than the South Korean team FC Seoul who were forced to apologise this week after they used sex dolls instead of mannequins to fill seats during a K League match at their empty stadium on Sunday.
Seoul’s match against Gwangju was being played without spectators due to ongoing measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the dolls had been dressed in the club’s colours while others were holding placards supporting the team. But eagle-eyed fans watching the match on television immediately took to social media to raise doubts about the inflatable spectators. The club issued a statement on saying the supplier had told them the dolls were not “adult products” but apologised for failing to check. Sounds like an episode from Only Fools and Horses, you couldn’t make it up!
Congratulations to Atlético Baleares who this week were made Champions of Segunda B Group 1. There were still 10 games to go but the League have decided to end things immediately and go straight to the play-offs. Remember that winning your Segunda B group doesn’t give you automatic promotion, you have to play a play-off two legged game against one of the winners of one of the other regional groups. Baleares posible opponents are UD Logroñes, CD Castellón or FC Cartagena. Logroñes seem to be the team to avoid, they were 13 points clear having only lost twice. Win your play-off you go up, lose your play-off and you drop back into the play-offs with the teams that finished second, third and fourth. Interestingly they contain two teams from Ibiza, UD Ibiza and Pena Deportiva. I think Baleares have a great chance and can build on the disappointment of not going up last year. It would be great for the island if Real Mallorca stay up and Atlético Baleares get promoted.
One element of football I’ve missed more than anything is watching the boys play. Last week we got news that both of them have been asked to go back to CD San Francisco. Jacob into Cadete B & Jude into Alevin A. Jake will resume training at the beginning of August and Jude will start at the end of August. Both of them were really happy to receive the call and so were we, we’re counting down the days!
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

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