All right, you caught me, I admit it. I hired a private detective agency to make sure that Hector, Kevin, and Tarun weren’t up to no good during their free time. It was well worth it, of course, and totally above board. Except I didn’t tell anyone and I had the detectives comb through their garbage and open their mail in order to find out that 1) Hector spends his evenings punching a voodoo doll of Maradona in the face, 2) Kevin can outride my poor detectives on his bike, and 3) Tarun plays soccer in the evenings with, er, me.
Seriously, though, I didn’t do that. I wouldn’t have. Because that is just crazy.
Barça’s General Director Joan Oliver would like to point out that it isn’t at all crazy. It’s a natural and accepted part of figuring out who should stand for president in the next election. Here’s all that I’ve gleaned: In March or April one of the many vice presidents, Joan Franquesa that Barça has thought that he was being followed by someone. Creepy, right? So Oliver assigned a detective agency to find out what was going on…and also assigned that agency to follow 3 other VPs whose only crimes were the ability to stand for president in the upcoming election cycle.
The other three VPs are Jaume Ferrer, Joan Boix, and Rafael Yuste, because you can’t have too many Joans in the same organization. Franquesa knew about the agency, I think, and then it leaked to the rest of the board and several people got kind of upset about the whole thing for obvious reasons, but they decided to keep a lid on it because the team was enjoying such a splendid run of form and was closing in on the triplete. For what it’s worth, no outlet is claiming anything other than what Joan Laporta himself has claimed: that he had no knowledge of what Oliver was doing. What is not clear is whether or not he put a stop to it when he found out or exactly when it was that he found out. There’s a fifth vice president, by the way (cause you can’t have too many VPs!), Alfons Godall, who wasn’t investigated because he can’t stand for president in the elections.
El Mundo Deportivo, in what appears to be a fit of “the-club-can-do-no-wrong-itis”, finishes their particular article on the subject with the statement:
La metodología, según fuentes de la empresa que realizó el trabajo “son habituales en Estados unidos y cada vez más en los partidos políticos españoles”.
The methodology, according to sources within the press that wrote the original report, “are common in the United States and are becoming more and more common within Spanish political parties.” [My translation, if there are any errors]
Er, I’m not so sure that American businesses and political parties commonly hire private investigators without the knowledge of the person being investigated in order to glean information about their viability as candidates or CEOs. As I understand it, the process is generally an extensive questionnaire and then some background checks authorized by the person being checked upon. Perhaps I’m just naive, but I don’t see this is as a widespread phenomenon in the US. Maybe at some companies, but those companies are committing illegal acts of invasion of privacy. WTF, Oliver?
–In actual football-related news, because of goal differential, Barça has moved back to the top of the league table by one goal. a 1-4 win is truly greater than an 0-2 win by Madrid, apparently. That means that with 4 matches played, Barça and RM sit atop the league table, 3 points clear of their next closest rivals (Sevilla and Athletic) and 5 clear of Mallorca and Valencia. Atleti remains 2nd from bottom after drawing with Almeria and are in what the Madrid press claim is full blown crisis. Imagine that, I call for them to be 4th and they plummet straight to the bottom. Tenerife are exceeding my expectations, while Xerez is doing nothing but confirming everyone else’s and making me look like a real dolt. Damn you, Xerez.
—Ibrahimovic is still likely to miss the Málaga match because of his injury, but is looking less and less likely to miss the Dynamo match, which is very good news. ESPN is raving about Crynaldo making RM history by scoring in his first 4 league appearances, but nary a mention of Ibrahimovic doing exactly the same thing for Barça. Odd how that works.
–According to EMD, we’re following Luis Suarez, which should make a few of you happy, even if it’s not true. If it is true and we do sign him in January, Suarez would be a fairly welcome backup that would slowly become a starter on the left. Then again, that puts Bojan and Keirrison in the awkward position of having to fight for a place in a squad that is constantly improving and constantly looking forward. If all these rumors are true, I just don’t see a place in the squad for The Kid over the next few seasons, especially if Pedro! ends up panning out. As talented as he is, Bojan doesn’t have the physical specs to put up with banging in the box like Ibra or even Keirrison and that addition of a player like Suarez would basically seal the deal for Bojan, unless he can make a massive comeback from his injury and wow us all through the end of the year. I’m obviously rooting for that rather than splashing cash on another unproven player like Suarez (unproven in our system).
And that, as they say, is that. Stay tuned, however, as there is more to come later today from this here blog.