Competition news


23 Aug 2006
Barcelona is still to be the main candidate to win la liga title, but there are some factors that could influence in the bets and the expectations. These factors represent changes that could affect the final results and could even generate long-term impacts during the following seasons. presents a list of the five things that can influence la liga.

1- The new presidents: A new president is always generating speculations and good expectations, on this opportunity there are three new bosses that are calling everybody's attention: Ram??n Calder??n (Real Madrid), Francisco Pern?a (Racing Santander) and Agapito Iglesias (Zaragoza).

Calder??n is probably the one generating more speculation since he arrived to one of the bigger clubs in Europe. But until now the balance is uncertain. He hired Fabio Capello, one of his best decisions. The Italian decided to give more strength to the defensive zone, and the Madrilians signed three players that will fulfil the job: Diarra, Cannavaro and Emerson. But the problem is that Calder??n won the elections thanks to his promises (Kak??, Robben and Fabregas). Promises that haven't been fulfilled, the fans and the media are becoming angry with him, the name of Kak?? was shout during Diarra's presentation and it seems that darker days are arriving to the so called 'white house'.

The other two presidents seems to be in a more positive situation. Francisco Pern?a is a very well known name by Depor's fans since he was the one negotiation with Lendoiro for Munitis. Pern?a is a Cantabrian entrepreneur and ex-secretary of a politic party (PP- Partido Popular). He seems to be a magician with the funds of the club. Racing has only €24 million as budget for the new season, but Pern?a has found the way to build a respectful squad commanded by Munitis. Other reinforcements are the youngsters Rub?n and Balboa (Real Madrid Castilla), Momo, Rub?n Castro, Colsa and right now he is working in the incorporation of Rafael Sob?s, one of the biggest promises in Brazil, a €4.5 million operation that's generating enthusiasm in Santander.

Meanwhile, Aapito Iglesias took the command of Zaragoza a few weeks ago, he owns a construction company named Codesport and promised a powerful squad when he arrived to the presidency. He is fulfilling his word and has signed important players like Diogo, Piqu?, D'Alessandro and Aimar. This last one cost €8 million and was label as "the most important signing n the history of the club".

2- La Sexta: This is the last competitor that has arrived to the world of television and football. The arrival of the cable companies to football was understood as the boom of la liga during the 90's. The money injected to the clubs for its TV rights was the key that allowed the big signings of the recent past (Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Denilson...). Emilio Arag??n is main head of La Sexta. He has been supported by strong partners in Mexico and is willing to obtain a piece of the cake in la liga.

He signed a deal with Racing Santander for €11 million per season and with Athletic for €18 million. It has even rumoured that they are trying to pay €1,000 million to Barcelona for the next ten years. It was also rumoured that La Sexta was negotiating with Lendoiro, but Depor's president said that he still have a contract with Sogecable until the year 2009. A deal that generating between €18 and €20 million per season. What's clear is that this new competitor could revitalise a market that has been very cold during the last seasons.

3- The referees: This is one of the most criticised aspects in la liga. The performance of the referees has been labelled as a disaster during the last campaigns. For this reason the Spanish Federation (RFEF) and La Liga (LFP) are trying to change the scenario. One of the theories is that the referees in Spain aren't prepared to direct a game since they aren't 100% professionals. Several of them shares their time as officials with other professions. The RFEF is trying to change it and they built a plan that is trying to form professional referees with enough preparation to face la liga challenges.

The first step is to increase their salary. For the new season the increase will be of 10% and will be followed by new increases of 15% (season 2007/2008), 20% (2008/2009) and 25% (2009/2010). After these increases occurs, the referees will be forced to work 40 hours per week and will include a continuous formation and qualification sessions. The idea is that: fairest referees will reduce the injustices on the pitch. A fact that will improve the quality of la liga.

4- The Franchises: This new factor was pointed out by Lendoiro as a menage in an interview that he gave a few days ago. From now on the clubs have the possibility to sell their spot in la liga. In order to fulfil the operation, the buyer and sellers must present the papers to the RFEF before May 15th of each year, the buyer should demonstrate that it possesses a good infrastructure and economic solvency. The buyer must demonstrate the capacity to face its debts. This means that rich corporations could try to sell the poorest clubs in Primera and later they could try to move the clubs to other cities. A new Chelsea on sight?

5- The Moggi-gate: This was referred as the main change that would affect la liga, but it seems that at the end, it will be the factor with less power to influence in the Spanish tournament. Several people were expecting big movements from Italy derived from the match fixing scandal in Calcio. These movements would mean the arrival of important players that could change the status of the clubs. But the appeals have decreased the level of the damage. Only Juventus was sent to Segunda and for that reason, only four players have changed of country: Zambrotta, Thuram, Kapo and Cannavaro.

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