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¡Zaragoza sí, Agapito no! – President announces sale of shares but fans still dubious
- Updated: 10 March, 2012
After months of protests, the news for which the vast majority of Real Zaragoza fans have been waiting finally arrived this week. Owner Agapito Iglesias, the man who many believe is wholly responsible for leading the club to the brink of liquidation, announced that he was prepared to sell his shares and thus end his five year tenure at the helm.
However the manner of his announcement, and the events which have followed, have made many doubt whether this is just another ploy to take the heat off him as his opponents step up the pressure to make him stand down.
The first sticking point seems to be that although Iglesias says he is willing to sell his shares, he refuses to divulge what the asking price is. The possibility that it could be anything other than a symbolic amount is in itself a concern, given that anyone assuming control of the club would presumably also be inheriting its crippling debts.
However such is the distrust of Iglesias nowadays that even those prepared to accept that the terms of sale should be kept secret are wary of his offer. Certainly the feeling that this is no more than a token gesture to buy him some breathing space was given credence by his comments to Aragon TV on Wednesday, when he appeared to be calling out the action group ‘Salvemos el Real Zaragoza’, the focal point of the anti-Iglesias movement.
They clearly do not have the financial means to take him up on his offer, and thus the other fear remains that the owner has already arranged to ‘sell’ the club to one of his intermediaries, and will continue to control the club from the shadows. They had their chance and didn’t take it, or something along those lines.
However if by any remote chance Iglesias is serious about selling up and disappearing completely from the scene, the manner in which he has set the wheels in motion is bizarre in itself. The solicitors charged with overseeing the process were initially very vague about the whole issue when their offices were contacted, and have now invited any interested parties to send them an e-mail confirming their intentions!
So if there is anyone out there with a spare hundred million pounds who fancies transforming themselves into a hero overnight in Aragon, get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need to identify yourself and lay out your project for the future of the club. There are plenty of rumours flying around that a group has already come forward, but for the moment they remain little more than internet gossip. However they have been given some credibility by ‘Periodico de Aragon’ journalist Alfonso Hernandez, who has alluded to the existence of such a group on his Twitter feed.
Meanwhile Zaragoza coach Manolo Jimenez has predictably urged the players to keep their minds on matters on the field ahead of what really is a last chance saloon encounter with Real Sociedad this evening. Club captain Javier Paredes has recently angered supporters by seemingly supporting the current regime, but thankfully team mates Paulo Da Silva and Ivan Obradovic have been more diplomatic in their dealings with the press this week, with both maintaining that they are only focused in picking up another three points in Anoeta.
Even that may well not be enough to give the team any chance of salvation, given that the following two fixtures pit them against Valencia and Atletico. However defeat would really be the final nail in the coffin for a team which looked dead and buried after their capitulation at Malaga a fortnight ago, but who gave their fans the faintest glimmer of hope with their last gasp win against Villareal last SundayFollow @icentrocampista