Football's little theatre has no future

The actors in the football theatre play their roles in the middle of a break
LaLiga President Javier Tebas

REUTERS/PAUL HANNA  -   LaLiga President Javier Tebas

The actors in the football theatre go on stage to read their scripts. They play roles to gain airtime on the news and gauge the situation of society... and the government.


Iker Casillas and Javier Tebas staged their own play a few weeks ago. They're partners. Casillas is an important asset among LaLiga ambassadors around the world and is also the one chosen by Tebas to preside over the RFEF and take down his enemy Rubiales. Casillas proposed that the 19-20 season ends at the end of 2020. That the 20-21 and 21-22 also cover calendar years and that everything is set for the World Cup in Qatar in the winter of 2022. A sporty plan, although it would run into the problem of the 2021 European Cup. The league would still be played in summer, but with no international players. Very unusual, but possible. 

El capitán y portero del Real Madrid, Iker Casillas, saluda mientras posa rodeado de trofeos en una despedida oficial en el estadio Bernabéu de Madrid, España, el 13 de julio de 2015
REUTERS/ANDREAS COMA - Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas waves as he poses surrounded by trophies at an official farewell at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, on 13 July 2015

Javier Tebas immediately replied to Casillas. His intention was not to correct him or to undermine his idea. The answer was an economic add-on. A general doubt about player contracts and televisions. A voice in the desert for the absent-minded Sanchez government to take up the gauntlet. But at La Moncloa they don't know anything about gloves or masks.  


And the Real Sociedad joined in this representation. The surprise team, in European positions before the suspension and finalist of Copa del Rey. A club that could disappear from the ticket office in a flash if they decide to end the competition. The Basques put pressure on the authorities by presenting a plan to return to work in groups, taking turns and taking all possible precautions. At the CSD, Sanchez's biographer, who knew about her boss's problems, avoided another setback for him. She refused permission for the Donostia club to train and, in the process, sent a message to society: you have to stay at home. 

Vista general del estadio Reale Seguros, sede del equipo de fútbol de primera división español Real Sociedad, en San Sebastián
REUTERS/VINCENT WEST - General view of the Reale Seguros stadium, home of the Spanish first division football team Real Sociedad, in San Sebastian

The RFEF lives with the minimum of effort. Your private theatre. Rubiales should have been proclaimed president by now if it wasn't for the state of alarm. Although now he is part of the cast of actors who are going to court accused of trying to manipulate the upcoming elections by choosing 19 of their own members to vote for Rubiales. Along the way, they are misled by rules for returning to competition that were not approved by any authority and end up publishing a ludicrous press release.

Meanwhile, they kill time by tangling with the footballers' union and leaking audios of their conversations with LaLiga. In Las Rozas there is not much enthusiasm to return to competition. Their national team matches have been postponed, the European Cup will be played in 2021 and the World Cup will not be played either. They have already announced that they want to end the competitions they are organising with a play-off and without promotion or relegation. Fast track for modest football and fledgling indoor football that could have a viable plan drawn up by the National Indoor Football League to meet the sponsors. In Las Rozas they want beach in summer. 

El presidente de la Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF), Luis Rubiales
AFP/OSCAR DEL POZO - The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales

The Barça describes its own play of the civil war between players and managers. They cut salaries the hard way and remain on the edge of the precipice of a strange season. Real Madrid put on a classic show: their famous Bernabeu plays. They have gone from tiling bathrooms in the summer to landing a spaceship in the Castellana. 

Una foto de Lionel Messi se refleja en el emblema del FC Barcelona
REUTERS/ALBERT GEA - A photo of Lionel Messi is reflected in the FC Barcelona emblem

They are also busy getting Hazard into social distance with the fridge. They have set an example with a salary reduction for those who earn more so that those who earn less can continue to receive their salary. They don't want the public money of the ERTE to end up paying millionaire salaries. And if these two clubs don't talk about going back to work, nobody says anything. 

Partido de fútbol de la Liga española entre el Real Madrid y el Barcelona en el estadio Santiago Bernabéu de Madrid, España, el domingo 1 de marzo de 2020
AP/MANU FERNANDEZ - Spanish League soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, on Sunday, March 1, 2020

Competing beyond July 31 is a problem. On the one hand, the contracts that expire, the delay of the return to competition next season and, on the other, that the RFEF is not in favour of having football in summer beyond its Copa del Rey. The public is crowding around the football theatre, eager to see something better than the Belarusian league. The stage is filled with actors who want to be the protagonists of a future without football.