Villar, Cardenal and Méndez de Vigo

Villar, Cardenal and Méndez de Vigo

The raid by the UCO (Unidad Central Operativa), the Spanish civil guard division charged with investigating organised crime, a Spanish version of Harrelson's SWAT team, on the Spanish Football Federation is going to be the news of the summer, more so than Ronaldo's tantrum or the raid on the yacht the Real Madrid striker hired in the Balearics. Villar arrested! And with him, Padrón, the vice-president of the Federation and Villar's son Gorka Villar, on suspicion of illegal favourable treatment. Gorka Villar was begining to be considered, accurately, as the Achilles heel by which the arrow of justice could bring down Villar. He's protected and guided his career, as every good father should. Gorka Villar became general director of CONMEBOL no less, alongside the Grondonas, Leozes... the worst of the worst.

Things look bad for Villar

We don't know how this will turn out, but the signs are very bad. Having been there for so many years, Villar has accumulated absolute power by handing out favours in order to keep everyone on his side. A system that I once referred to as "villarato", a word which took off, years after coining it, when it linked, as a shorthand for, the refereeing favours of the Laporta era with the Barcelona man's support during tough elections. Those benevolent refereeing performances stopped when Laporta left. Villar has lasted thanks to a combination of small-town shrewdness and the audacity of the ignorant and for a long time now he's done exactly what he wanted. And that leads to mistakes.

Villar was expected to step aside

The events of today will satisfy in part Miguel Cardenal, former president of the Spanish Sports Council, whose complaints have now led to something. Those complaints saw him confront Alejandro Blanco, who always believed in Villar, and his own government, who pushed him aside in search of 'peace'. The Spanish minister for Sport, Méndez de Vigo, expected, naively, for there to be an 'honourable' transition from Villar. He discretely supported Villar's re-election, expecting him to move Padrón aside, name an acceptable vice-president (Rubiales, president of the Spanish Footballers Association) and that he would then resign in a reasonable time frame. That didn't end up happening. Today Villar has been arrested alongside Padrón. Méndez de Vigo didn't get what he expected.