“You and I both lost money. Remember?” That was the wager which Javier Tebas offered, urbi et orbi, to all those who didn’t believe that the LaLiga Miami game would go ahead. I asked him if many had taken up the bet.
“Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is...”
“I’m not rich enough”
“Ok, I’ll give you a discount, 10 thousand”
“My wife wouldn’t allow it”.
The truth is, I could see that Tebas was capable of anything – including taking this initiative forward. But the day has finally arrived and the Girona-Barcelona match will be played at Montilivi. Only a few days ago Washington Wizards and New York Knicks played at the Millennium Dome in London. For some time now, games from various different competitions have been staged abroad, with complete disregard to home advantage. It’s not something which appeals to me very much, but it happens.
Barcelona get cold feet
Tebas thought that this was the right moment, another step forward in the universal expansion of LaLiga. Barça were all in favour, and Girona, elated - as it would put their name on the international map. But I suspect that they didn’t quite believe it all. LaLiga offered 1500 free flights to Girona season ticket holders but the actual figures of those who put their names down for the trip have never been revealed. They also offered 5000 tickets for the Camp Nou fixture in Week 5 of which, only 1300 were taken up. Really, only Tebas had the conviction to take this forward above and beyond all opposition. But there was so much against the idea that Barça ended up distancing themselves from the project, with good reason. They couldn’t see themselves as the key players in a war which wasn’t of their own making.
It's fair to say that sooner or later, a LaLiga game will take place in Miami. But it would be advisable to make a better choice of clubs, so that the football sacrilege won’t be tarnished by politics. And it’s a matter which needs to be agreed in in advance – and that won’t be possible until the relationship between Tebas and Luis Rubiales stabilizes. Our football is moving on two wheels which are turning in opposite directions; in which one brakes when the other doesn’t and vice versa. It doesn’t matter whether we talk about Miami, Reus or anything else. It pains me to see this lack of cooperation (and putting it that way is a euphemism) between the two men in charge of our football - two people with ideas and energy, who could make a great team – if they would only stop squabbling.