Off with his head!
What short memories the blaugrana supporters have. Last night Oriel Giralt, pictured, presented twelve ballot boxes containing signatures of 9473 club members demanding a vote of no-confidence inclub president Joan Laporta. The vote will take place in early July so we can look forward to at least a month of instability, bickering and a complete lack of signings thanks to boardroom uncertainty. Thanks Oriel, you prick.
I'm very unhappy about this. Barcelona were in a complete state when Laporta and Sandro Rosell took over after the disaster that was the brief reign of Joan Gaspart. The squad was completely overhauled, investing in the players they needed ('dinho, Deco, Giuly, Marquez, Milito, Larsson, Eto'o) and booting out the likes of Kluivert, Gerard and the rest of the under-achivers who gummed up the works at the Camp Nou, they stood up to the Boixos Nois, they appointed a coach they believed in (who developed and encouraged the talents of Andreas Iniesta, Leo Messi, Victor Valdes, Bojan, Gio Dos Santos...) and didn't ditch him after a shaky start. They also steadied the clubs finances, which were in an absolute shambles (50% of the wage bill going to Kluivert anyone?) and boosted both membership and season ticket holders. In short they righted the ship and took it back to the top of La Liga and Europe while playing the best futbol I've ever seen.
Yet after two relatively unsuccessful years (finishing second and level on points with Real, though let's not kid ourselves, they threw it away and third plus a Champions League semi-final) the knives are out. True, things have been far from rosy in Barcelona of late, particularly the situation regarding Ronaldinho, but steps are being made to rectify this, Rijkaard has left and some solid signings have been made. Whether lessons have actually been learned or this is all window dressing I don't know but I'm prepared to wait until a ball is kicked under Guardiola to make a judgement. All this "Laporta out!" stuff is bullshit and does nothing but destabilise Mes que un club.
Over at the bridge
I now seems a fair bet that Frank Rijkaard will not be taking over at Chelsea after his friend and former assistant coach Henk Ten Cate was given the boot yesterday, only a few days after he was told that the departure of Avram Grant would not affect him. No word yet as to where he might go.