Skip to main content

Who is Raúl Martín Presa, the Mickey Mouse? Part 1. (20th August, 2017)



José María Ruiz-Mateos was the head and main shareholder of Nueva Rumasa - the company that owned Rayo and other companies - mainly specializing in dairy products. (He wasn't the president of Rayo though - his wife, Teresa Rivero, was Rayo's president).

In early 2011, the directors announced a debt of over 700 million euros, that it was on the verge of bankruptcy and that staff wouldn't be paid. And the players were visibly angry about it - captain Míchel assured the press that the club would continue fighting on the pitch, but the day after the announcement was made, six key players didn’t attend training. Veteran midfielder José María Movilla spoke on radio station SER about the situation, about the fact that he had only received seven of the last eighteen months of pay, about the fact that there were a few players who couldn't even afford car repairs.

When Rayo Vallecano were about to earn promotion to La Liga despite all the odds - the players not being paid, the club in debt, and the ownership being at odds with the players and fans - the club was in the unlikely situation of actually disappearing. The 40 million euros of debt that the club had accrued was no small matter - somebody had to agree to pay it long-term.

And in May 2011, 98.6% of Rayo went from one greedy entrepreneur to another.

At the time, Presa taking it up meant a lot. It meant that if Rayo went up to La Liga - with six games to go, they would be given a temporary lifeline. In the end they did, and fans had a club president who had been a Rayo abonado for 10 years, who had made his name in advertising and who was on the board of directors for nine different companies - Margi, Magnaprint, Martiplas, Senigrama, Digital SM, Adhegraf, Margicart and Cromosur.

There was more to it as well - Rivero and Mateos are from Xerez in Andalucía, and have no historical ties to Madrid, least of all to Vallecas - whose citizens' humble, working class identity is at odds with the couple's immense wealth. In contrast, Presa, 36, was based in Madrid. More importantly, they are both members of the infamous Catholic institution Opus Dei and whilst not being very political, are more aligned to the right wing, while Rayo's fans have always fiercely identified themselves as being left-wing.

But it was going to be business as usual. Everyone knew that.

Presa won ownership of the club simply because he stated that he would pay 95,000 euros a week to the players. But what actually happened was that 30,000 of that was diverted into club expenses, and reportedly some player received as little as 700 euros. And that was just week one. In week two and three nobody was paid.

Business as usual! Who expected this businessman to be different? Very, actually.

They had no idea. Absolutely none...

Coming up in part 2...

And then there were reports that Presa was trying to offload the club before the season even began...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

From Catalonia to Heybridge - the story of an eighth division club (19th October, 2017)

After spending his whole life at UDA Gramenet and a season at Europa, Guillem Ramón moved to Terrassa in the summer of 2014. It was just another Catalan player transferring between two clubs in the Catalan regional leagues - nothing extraordinary.

But it was consequential.

In March 2015, in a match against Sabadell, the full back suffered a complete meniscal rupture, and his season was over. So was his contract - and a big chunk of the 2015-16 season as well. He ended up signing for Cerdanyola, without pay (as he was recuperating), and the doctors said that January would be his return time. However, he debuted in November.

In hindsight, it was a mistake.

After two games, in a training session, on November 25th he got injured again - this time in the quadriceps in the same leg. After two months of recuperation, and still no guarantee of pay, Guillem left for new pastures in February 2016. A trial at Coplestonians FC followed; so did an opportunity at Needham Market FC, in the seventh t…

Non-league Incider: Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 East Thurrock United

When I was more young and foolish I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't visit a football stadium until I visited Vallekas. Frustrated by my inability to plan a trip, I broke that promise by watching a game in the sixth tier of English football.

This is that game. This is my story.

If I've learnt anything, it's this: never make promises to yourself. Promises to yourself are like bonds to an imaginary world - they're not attached to anything. Instead, they only serve to frustrate you, and sometimes those around you.

In 2016, I remember being outside Wembley and not going inside for a stadium tour. In 2014, I remember giving up the opportunity to watch Real Madrid play AC Milan in Dubai. For a year the stadiums of Chelsea and Fulham were on the same street as mine. For three years, every time my friend said he was going to watch Leyton Orient, every time my brother talked about his love for Arsenal, every time I looked at a map of London and saw how close I was to the …

Fuenlabrada - the mighty challengers: Part 2; aka Juan Quero - the roller-coaster (15th October, 2017)

In just a few months, Fuenlabrada have competed for promotion to the Segunda, signed a center-back from a La Liga side, and will now be playing Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

This is part 2 of a series about Fuenlabrada, the mighty challengers to Real Madrid, who they play in the cup on the 26th of October.

You can read part 1 here.



He was short. Very short. At 5'3", the left winger sometimes played in an over-sized shirt.

The ball never left his feet. His feet were tiny but they had magic. A dizzying array of body feints, close control, direction changes and sheer speed, often resembling a roller-coaster, left opposition defenders outwitted. And yes - sometimes, he frustrated. Sometimes, he was irregular.

But when he turned up, the world was at his feet.

If Juan Quero plays against Real Madrid he'll be playing against the club that let him go. The club that didn't think he had it in him to become a La Liga player.

The club that was wrong. Very, very wrong - he went fr…