Unless you are under a rock, you know that Espanyol are struggling to remain in Spanish football’s top flight. I have a chat with my boy Mando from Forza Futbol (and a masochistic Espanyol fan) about the consequences of a possible drop.
Sunday’s match against Almería almost saw them come back from an almost impossible situation. What happened on the pitch was nothing less than a fantastic finish. Nico Pareja became their hero du jour but the issues have gone beyond what has occurred on the pitch.
Off the pitch, the fans were asking for the newly placed administrative board to resign. Add to that the fact that they have the longest list of players that are bound to be free at the end of the season and there is trouble in paradise. Yeah, when it rains it pours.
When I talked to Mando a question that was not mentioned in the form of a question emerged. Outside of the big two, which teams are currently operating in the black. That got me to thinking about the situation at Espanyol and how they fit into the puzzle.
Let’s not consider the current state of the world economy for a second. Despite the aforementioned situation we all know that outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona teams have a tough time selling their product to investment companies and sponsors. This leads to a particular catch-22 that teams like Espanyol face on an everyday basis in the past few months.
Despite all of this, the club tries to find its way out of this crisis and they have been proactive in this approach.
The Nou Estadi is great and it’ll bring in some much needed prestige for Espanyol but the club were obviously looking at recouping some of their
initial investment with outside real estate investment at Cornella el Pratt
and much like the Arsenal/Highbury development Espanyol have been slow to lease.
Mando has a point when he was telling me this. I mean he wasn’t deciphering the Rosetta Stone or finding a cure for cancer; he was just being honest as far as the problems the teams are having right now as well as the creativity they have to use to in order to find a way. It’s a very American concept, but it is also a very necessary revenue stream that the club needs. The Nou Estadi that will be located in area in nearby Cornellá del Llobregat and El Prat.
Espanyol Free Agents: Iván de la Peña, Carlos Kameni, Jonathan Soriano, Chica, Rufete, David García, Lacruz.
The departure of these players as well as the reality of them leaving without not one cent being left to the team as transfer fee would leave Espanyol in quite a crux regardless of what division they play in next season.
If the club does not have sponsors there is no money. No money, no sponsors.
It’s not a particularly new scenario for Los Pericos. They know what it was like to sell their stadium in order to pay off debts. It is a tough act to follow when you have to share a town and market with one of the biggest teams in the world.
Listen to Mando and Hannah’s weekly podcast over at Forza Futbol.