As one Catalan club sits top of the La Liga table, another remains firmly rooted to the bottom. Espanyol have always been stranded in the imperious shadow of Barcelona, even when their boardroom crisis arguably merits more column inches than another El Clasico. Spanish website Mundo Deportivo.com revealed on Monday that the entirety of Espanyol’s boardroom had resigned and allowed for elections to take place on the 25th November.
This news comes as no shock concerning the recent and obvious dissatisfaction of the supporters of Espanyol. Attendances have slipped and season ticket sales have been woeful, a matter that stand-in CEO Joan Collet pointed out in September. He will stand for re-election though however as his resignation did not affect the council behind him at the club but President Ramon Condal has vacated his position for Collet to temporarily allocate.
On the pitch the club has collected just two draws from their opening seven league games and are still searching for their first win of the 2012/13 season. These abysmal run of results has piled the pressure on manager Mauricio Pochettino who faces a difficult task this season to keep his job and Espanyol in the division. Having sold many of their better players for the past few years now, this decline comes as no surprise.
A tough season was expected this year, especially as quality sides such as Deportivo and Celta Vigo were promoted, but to the extent to which they face already makes the remainder of the season appear bleak. The club have even had decent opportunities to break their duck, but late slip-ups against Athletic Bilbao and Levante have anchored them to the foot of the league. A lack of a commonly used Spanish phrase – cojones – has been blamed and immediate action needs to be taken to prevent these vital failures.
Discipline too has been a problem. Sitting bottom of the fair play table, Espanyol have seen four players receive two yellow cards in games this season and had two members of the coaching personnel sent off. On top of the current club status, the reaction of the playing staff reflects the dire situation within the club.
Mounting pressure was put on the board and now it appears that a total reshuffle will occur should Collet lose the upcoming elections. He will be up against Daniel Sanchez Llibre and the aptly named Ramon Barcelona. Whatever the result, a change of some sort needs to occur on the pitch rapidly as Espanyol are dropping points carelessly. Pochettino’s job may be safe until the resumption of a permanent board but pressure continues to be piled onto his shoulders. He needs something extra from somewhere to keep the club battling in La Liga next season.
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