The Girona squad has been training for one for two weeks play-off which should already have been played. One play-off of promotion to Primera that continues without having date, since the positive of more than 30 players and workers of the Fuenlabrada on Monday 20 of July altered everything. “We need to have a date. For weekly planning and to be able to get to the party in the best possible way we need a date. For the players it’s complicated, for the coaching staff it’s complicated and for the sports management it’s a panorama we couldn’t expect “, Quique Cárcel, Girona’s sports director, explained to Televisió de Catalunya.
On July 20, the Second Division ended. Then the idea of Girona was to play on Thursday 24 the first leg of the semifinals of play-off of promotion against Almeria, but it has not been possible to play because the regular phase of the category was incomplete due to the non-dispute of Deportivo-Fuenlabrada due to the positives in the Madrid club. In addition, the Fuenlabrada, in case of winning, would obtain a place of play-off, which is why it is not yet known if the rival of Zaragoza in the second semifinal will be Elche or the Madrid club. “We have been training for two weeks to play one play-off that we still don’t know if they will let us play. Our idea is to do it, because if Fuenlabrada breached security protocols, it is not our problem “, says Nico Rodríguez, sports manager of the illicit club. After more than 10 days with the Fuenlabrada squad closed in the hotel of A Coruña where it was discovered that he had an outbreak of covid-19, the Madrid club was able to do a first training session yesterday, and wants to play the match against Deportivo. The Galician club, which has been relegated to Second B, is asking the Second Division to stop being 22 clubs and to have 24 to save the two clubs that were relegated in the last day. “The principle of equality was not respected, because we could not play,” said Fernando Vidal, president of Deportivo. The other team saved would be Numancia. To complicate matters, however, Racing de Santander and Extremadura, the other two clubs that went down, have asked that the Second have 26 teams to avoid relegation.
Pending the future
Although they have not made it public, the three Catalan clubs of Segona, Espanyol, Girona and Sabadell, do not look favorably on a league of 24. And neither does the League. The problem, however, is that on Friday the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) sent a letter to the League asking to make an exception in the Second Division A format for the 2020/21 season and extend it to 24 clubs. The body chaired by Luis Rubiales thus seeks to benefit teams directly or indirectly affected by the suspension of Deportivo-Fuenlabrada, although Rubiales himself, in March, stated that he was against extending a division for reasons that they were not sporty.
Girona, in fact, still does not know where it will play next season, because the main goal is to get promotion in this play-off, who is still waiting to know what happens to Deportivo-Fuenlabrada. For Quique Cárcel, the job is complicated, as planning a season in mid-August without knowing the division where it will be played had never happened. And all with the League making it clear that next season should start on September 12th. “It’s very difficult to keep the people you have now, with these goals, if you don’t know what will happen in the future. And most of all, player planning is complicated, which is being worked on all year round, and many in the end have to make decisions. The pre-seasons of many teams are about to start and it is clear that right now we cannot make decisions “, argues Cárcel, who fortunately has no problems like Zaragoza, whose top scorer, the Colombian striker Luis Suárez, does not will be able to play the play-off because he belongs to Watford, a club that has announced that his transfer has already ended. In Girona, however, a promotion would change everything, as many players on loan, such as Ignasi Miquel, Brian Oliván and Pablo Maffeo, have a mandatory purchase clause in case of promotion.
Two weeks after the last match, Girona is still waiting. In these 15 days there has been a positive in Almeria, a rival of Girona, but it was an isolated case. The same thing has happened in Zaragoza. These positives have pushed the League to think about changing the format of the play-off and to be played in a single match at a single venue. “It simply came to our notice then play-off with back and forth because we believe that as a team we have a long squad, and we believe that in two games, 180 minutes and not 90, maybe we have more options “, defends Cárcel.