Santander League: The 91 days that changed Spanish football forever | LaLiga Santander 2019

The competition returns with 45 minutes pending in Vallecas, without the public, with 'bunkerized' stages, five changes, rotations and increased risk of injury. Clubs like Barcelona that pay high salaries to their stars have made ERTES for earthly payrolls


Messi, in the center, during a Barcelona training session.
Miguel Ruiz EFE

The ball rolled again this Wednesday, in a Spanish stadium, specifically in Vallecas, 91 days after it did so in Ipurua. In both cases in strange circumstances, since there were mediations, although they had nothing to do with the Covid-19. El Rayo receives this afternoon Albacete, a duel that comes one day before a big return, with the Seville derby, to play 45 outstanding minutes, since their duel was suspended due to insults to Zozulya , on December 19, 2019. Eibar and Real Sociedad played the last meeting of both categories in our country, on March 10, which had had to be postponed due to emissions from the Zaldvar landfill. None of this was comparable to what was to come, the pandemic that changed our lives and, of course, our football as well.

To begin with, this return is not a return to the fields by the fans, although that last match, in Eibar, was already being played without an audience, within the framework of the first measures taken by the authorities. A day later another Spanish team, the Atlético, played, but he did it in Liverpool and with fans, an act of risk if you look, of course, with the current perspective. The Atlético wanted one of his best acts in the Champions League to reach the limit of the survival of football, something that fits well with the curse of his story. After knocking the champion down, no one deserves the return of the Champions League so much, that they will have their life test in leagues like Spain.

The new football will be a football with money but without a soul, for the absence of spectators although, perhaps, they return before the end of the League, on July 19 . The last Royal Decree, made public yesterday, does not completely close the doors, a controversial fact. The first of the consequences will be to realize the importance that fans really have, after years in which they have lost with almost all the changes, whether due to the close of training that prevents them from ever seeing their near misses, due to the increase in the price of tickets or uncomfortable hours to attend stadiums due to television escalation. Theatrical solutions, such as ambient sound, are not going to prevent a ghostly image of the parties.


We have also seen teams that pay fortunes for soccer players perform ERTES on their employees. This is the case of Atlético or Barcelona the club that pays the best salaries in the world to its stars, but that could not pay the earthly payrolls of its administrators. The pandemic, an unexpected risk, not contemplated even in the most demanding of 'compliance', should therefore have a purifying effect on the economy of the clubs. The first consequence will be a downfall in the investments in transfers.

Also awaits a 'bunkerized' football. The jump in security measures for the sporting events that led to the attacks of 9/11 and 11-M, will have nothing to do with the stadiums of the Covid-19 era, because we are facing an enemy invisible. The protocol of the League is serious, despite the positive trend of the pandemic in recent weeks, and that is that more than half of the 11 days remaining in First will be played in the so-called new normality. After the first wave of testing, tolerated by the Government with a small mouth, since it occurred at a time of scarcity in the health sector, the League has not released any more official data. So there were five positives and 160 asymptomatic for a population of about 1,000 players. On Tuesday, the Federation announced the positive of a referee in the tests carried out on the group.

In the field, we will see teams with more rotations, which opens the options to the quarry and with up to five changes. Also more injuries, due to the frequency of matches and the express preparation after a long confinement of the footballers, the greatest inactivity in the history of professional football in Spain, after the interruption by the Civil War. 91 days, the same as Messi without stepping on the Camp Nou until he returned to training last Saturday. How I was missing him, he said. Having the ball again but missing many more things.

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