Too little too late
The ‘Chumi case’, in reference to the Barça centre-back – whose development and realised potential will become clear in the future - brings us back, face to face, to the whole ‘Cheryshev question mark’. That is, how is it possible that there are oversights of this nature at such big, self-styled clubs at the forefront of something (in this case football)? Those that claim to be the leading lights but instead lean on an ineffectual model. With Madrid it was Cheryshev and the whole thing resulted in disqualification. Now, in Barça’s case, it is Chumi, but they’ve got away with it because Levante didn’t realise – in fact, their fight against Barcelona has been defined by sloppiness, a case of "you didn’t notice what you were doing, and nor did I". And subsequently the complaint was filed too late.
Levante will now try to take the issue through to the bitter end; that's their role. Yet there is something undeniable: the chance to appeal passed them by because they just didn’t twig. There are striking similarities with the Cheryshev case, barring the fact that a complaint was filed inside the deadline. Levante had their head in the clouds, as did Barcelona, and Madrid a few years back. And to boot, the person in charge of the disciplinary committee found a large back door to slip out of. In short, Barça’s name has gone into the draw and Levante’s complaint filed away. Los Culés did field an ineligible player but the deadline was missed so it’s now a case of letting bygones be bygones.
Spain's top clubs
However, the taste this whole business leaves behind – and I apologise for hammering away at it – is a damaging image of carelessness from our top clubs. The ‘Cheryshev case’ and the ‘Chumi case’, with their different outcomes, have exposed these clubs’ fanciful paths to superstructures. It turns out that more value is placed on securing better conditions for the mineral water the players pour over their heads after training than someone who knows something about that damned nuisance of naming and fielding players. So much money rains down on them from above that they don’t feel the need to do things as they should be done, with deliberation, care, attention to detail, and a review of decision-making…