C’mon be honest, you didn’t really expect Newcastle United to spend any money in the Spain7transfer window did you?

Like many of you reading this I hate the whole pantomime. Plenty of business went on though and I read somewhere that over the whole of 2013, not just the last window, English clubs spent £145m on 38 Spanish players. Apparently no other country’s clubs sent more transfer cash to another nation. Of course some of that money went back to England as Gareth Bale became what the English press described as a world transfer record. In England it was reported that the fee was in the region of £85.3m whereas in Spain it was reported as £77m. Whatever the correct price it’s obscene and immoral but I’ve already gone over that malarkey previously. One player leaving La Liga for the Premier league is Ozil who joins Arsenal from Real Madrid. I have a feeling he’ll make a difference to Wenger’s squad and looks like a good acquisition, although vastly over-priced too. Swansea signed no less than five Spanish players with Jordi Amet from Espanyol being the pick of the bunch for me. I admire what Swansea have done regarding their rise from the ashes and fan involvement at board level, but they went down in my estimation when I learnt that they will be charging Liverpool’s away support £45 whilst Merseyside neighbours Everton will be charged £10 less. Swansea will play in Spain, at Valencia in the Europa League, soon. I would have loved for that to have been United last season, its only three hours up the road. Never mind I might go have a look at Swansea, work permitting.

Well it was another international break last weekend but that doesn’t affect my football Spain5watching these days. CAP Ciudad de Murcia was still playing and there was a full programme going on the go below La Liga. I had to go to Benidorm over the weekend too to celebrate my sisters-in-laws 40th. Benidorm isn’t one of my favourite places to be honest and without sounding snobbish it represents all that is wrong in Chavdom I reckon. I try my best to avoid the place and any place similar including ex-pat enclaves. However, I have to report that I had an excellent time. We went to a bar called Jail-rock to watch a band called Carnaby Street; they were excellent covering bands like The Jam, The Specials, The Pistols etc. etc. If you are ever in Benidorm have a look, you won’t regret it. http://www.jailrockbenidorm.com/carnabyst.html

I had arranged to go to the CAP-CDM game on the way home and that meant my good Spain6lady would be accompanying me. She was a bit apprehensive to say the least but said she could see what the attraction was when she got there. I had also arranged to meet a lad from Manchester at the game called Lance Manock. Lance is a Man U. Fan but has been involved in FC United of Manchester since its conception. FCUM and CAP-CDM have strong links with FCUM helping the Murcian club set themselves up as a fan owned entity. In the current circumstances at Newcastle I often wonder if a FCUM scenario would work on Tyneside. Somehow I don’t think it would but when Lance explained to me what went on at Man. U and why people decided to break away it certainly did resonate with me. You can see the FCUM story here on You-Tube, it’s a documentary called Punk Football and it’s a really enjoyable watch and does make you think what if that happened on Tyneside. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrR5e9NtV68

Lance had been to see CAP-CDM before and he knew a lot of the lads involved as both sets of fans travel to each other’s games from time to time. If you’re reading this and thinking I wouldn’t mind seeing what’s going on in Murcia please contact me on Twitter, I’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Again, the game itself was quite good for the level of football and newly promoted Ciudad Spain8recorded their first win of the season beating, the Black & White striped, Ciudad de Cieza 1-0. They now sit 5th in the league and my” home” town club Caravaca lead the table at the moment with a 100% record; they won 1-6 away on Sunday. Ciudad certainly do have some good young players and I’m confident they’ll do well, I’d love to see them and Caravaca get promotion in the same season.

I picked up Ciudad’s fanzine “Fan-Zone”, a new one for me, and the Rayo influenced “La Banda Izquida” (the Left Wing) at the game. Both are excellent reads giving a great insight into mainly Spanish football sub-culture. I’m honoured that I’ll have articles appearing in both soon. Certain Spanish fans are obsessed with UK football fan culture – strange isn’t it? I was glad to see at the game also that Ciudad had replenished some of their fan animation that they’d lost after the recent arson attacks. So far they have managed to collect in the region of €650 and they have bought a load of Red & Black crossed flags and they look good.  I know that some TF readers/contributors have donated to their fund to buy more banners etc. and I would just like to say a big thank you from the lads and lasses at CAP Ciudad de Murcia. You can still donate here if you have a few spare bob hanging about. http://www.capciudaddemurcia.com/tienda/index.php?id_category=8&controller=category&id_lang=1

Well that’s the end of another Spanish ramble hope you enjoyed it, until next time take care!

Tony Higgins

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