A blast from the past

Things just don’t stop happening at Racing. A new twist in the tale of the club’s dreadful present came into view on Tuesday, as former club legend (and manager) Reinaldo ‘Mostaza‘ Merlo made a legal petition to have Blanquiceleste S. A., the registered company who currently own the club, declared bankrupt. Blanquiceleste / Racing president Fernando De Tomaso didn’t respond well.

‘We’re not going to fill our mouths with our love for Racing,’ De Tomaso declared in reply to questions about whether he and his fellow Blanquiceleste directors were in fact just in it to make some cash out of the club and scarper when the chance presented itself. Merlo’s request to the courts to have the company declared bankrupt is the ex-manager’s response to the fact that Blanquiceleste – and here’s where regular readers show no surprise whatsoever – still haven’t paid him all the money he’s owed from his most recent spell as first team manager, between May 2006 and April 2007.

Despite Merlo’s version having been circulated to the press on Tuesday morning, De Tomaso claimed on Radio La Red’s show Un Buen Momento that the official petition for bankruptcy hadn’t arrived on his desk. ‘We sent him a letter to tell him he should come and collect [the money he’s owed],’ De Tomaso explained. Failing to quit while he was ahead, he then went on to fatally undermine any judgements about his honesty or sanity by declaring, ‘[the current team] are looking up more than down. They’re good enough to qualify for the Copas, Libertadores or Sudamericana.’ Now, come on Fernando, no-one believes that!

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8 thoughts on “A blast from the past

  1. Sorry to jump in here, Sam. As a Racing supporter that follows this issues, I would like to point out that De Tomaso was trying to be ironic and he said: “Then we go and say we love Racing” (or something like that) but he was obviously having a go at Merlo. It’s an expression we use. The way I see it is that something was lost in translation and with De Tomaso’s words being something of a slang, it’s totally understandable. What happens is that we use the word “we” when we don’t want to say “you” but we are implying that in fact it was “you” and not “we”. Like for example: “So…we are arriving late to school” or “We are getting a little bit fat!”. Stuff like that.

    De Tomaso’s view of the things is, “how can you (Merlo) ask a company to file for bankrupcy if you say you love Racing?”.

    But he is obviously missing the real point, which is: “How your company can take over a team and sell all the assets (youngsters) and then claim you are not making money out of it, and at the same time you’ve been reducing the team to have to settle for the relegation fight?”

    De Tomaso is, in fact, just there to make a name, make money or whatever from Racing. That’s undeniable too.

    The thing I find most amusing about all this soap opera these two are having at the expense of Racing is the fact that when a promising Diego Simeone (Racing supporter unlike De Tomaso or Merlo) stopped playing to become a manager and had a terrible start but was showing signs of improvement, De Tomaso brought in Merlo in an attempt to win the supporters over and become a popular figure.

    Merlo was coming from a bad experience at River, where a “mutiny” led by Gallardo forced him to resign and when he came to Racing again he was just a good memory from 2001. He needed to try to manage one more time, and what better place than Racing (a club he crowned as champions after 35 years) but after that episode in River he was seing ghosts everywhere, shadows…he was completely paranoid. He started separating players from the squad because he thought they were leaking stories to the press…terrible. And the team played horribly.

    Simeone, at that time, was winning the league with Estudiantes (beating Boca in a final match).

    De Tomaso? Filling up his mouth with his love for Racing.

    There’s also a long list of checks without funds that Blanquiceleste has issued to several clients and employees, so De Tomaso better stop his high-profile sarcastic comments and gets back to work or just get the hell out of Racing.

    Copa Libertadores? Copa Sudamericana? It’s amazing what you get to hear from this horrible person! I’m doing my best not to use foul language here…so I better stop my message right now!

  2. Thanks for that very informative correction and expansion, Seba. I’d have gone into a little more depth but I couldn’t get online last night until getting on for 2am, so just wanted to get a story up and go to bed…

    If nothing else, I’ve learned a little more slang, which is always welcome. And whichever way it was said, De Tomaso’s comments are, I’m sure we can all agree, incredibly arrogant when the fact remains that he hasn’t paid people an awful lot of money.

  3. My pleasure, Sam. I’m sure we can all see how much effort you put in HEGS and the results are great.

    As you said, De Tomaso’s comments are arrogant. And the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclussion that it’s impossible to take them seriously.

    By the way…you seem to have a great understanding in Spanish. Are you fluent? Studying?

    As you know I run (together with John, from Malaysia) a blog about Argentina -in sports- and I do it in English, which is not my native language. So I know how hard it can be when it comes to the language barriers.

    You are doing a superb job here. Keep it up!

  4. Saw my first Racing game in 1988 (v. San Lorenzo) and fell for ’em hook, line, and sinker. The current status of La Academia is killing me. Thanks Seba for the insights. Maybe Mirtha Legrand can give us all her money? Kidding…just kidding…but I’d take her money at the club to be sure.

  5. Hi Kent! Good to see you didn’t make the obvious Boca-River choice of team! 1988! We had a great team and we won the Supercopa that season (a tournament played by every Copa Libertadores winner).

    Just out of curiosity…where are you from?

    Mirtha? We need the 5th richest man in the World, Lashki Mittal (the new QPR owner -my English not-so-obvious choice of team-).

  6. Come on, Seba, “‘didn’t make the obvious choice of River or Boca”? Racing is still one of the big five. If you want to complement a fan for an unobvious choice, I can think of many other teams (like Velez Sarfield who always seem to be able to field an entertaining, attacking team).

  7. I wouldn’t say I’m fluent, Seba, but I started picking up my Spanish on trips to Argentina and reading Olé, El Gráfico and more every day online certainly helps! I can read a fair bit… well, I’ve read a couple of books by Borges in Spanish, so…

    The rest is just keeping in practice, which I do with a few Spaniards who live here in Bristol. It confuses the hell out of them to hear an Englishman speaking with an Argentine accent!

    And I’ll half side with Timoteo here… Racing are one of the ‘Big Five’, yes, but at the same time for many, many fans in the English-speaking world (not the highly knowledgeable and discerning bunch who read HEGS, of course), River and Boca are the only Argentine clubs they can name…

  8. Timoteo…I kind of disagree with you. Let me explain. Racing stopped being an obvious choice a long time ago. I mean…1 league title in the last 42 years. Kent started supporting in 1988 which means Racing had 21 years with no titles (and 22 with no league titles).

    Velez, for that matter, is more of an obvious choice because they recently won the Intercontinental Cup beating Milan in Tokyo and got more recognition than Racing, with more domestic and international titles and, as you said, attractive football (which we haven’t seen at Racing in a loooooooooooooooong long time).

    We won’t fight over this, of course, but I still think the only obvious choices are Boca and River.

    Sam…let me tell you you’ve read a couple of Borges books more than me! haha! Never came close to his works and I think I should. I don’t know if you ever touched a Roberto Fontanarrosa’s book but I strongly recommend you to do so as soon as you can!

    PURO FUTBOL is a remarkable compilation of football short stories (some true, some fictional).

    AREA 18 is a wonderful novel with football as the main theme.

    NO TE VAYAS CAMPEON is another great title in which Fontanarrosa (RIP) described every domestic champions since he started watching football and he does it with his unique views and sense of humour.

    I’m probably wasting my time but if you never read Fontanarrosa and you do that because of my advice, then I’ll be a very happy man.

    Hey…Sam…next time you’re around Buenos Aires, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to meet you.

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