Newell’s wuz robbed!

Inside Newell's stadium 2
El Coloso Del Parque was broken into earlier this week

No funny business at Independiente, where club president Julio Comparada begins a new term in charge of the club. With the elections at Racing still a few days away, the controversy for now has been in Rosario. After fourteen years, there have been presidential elections at Newell’s Old Boys, and the incumbent Eduardo López was beaten. The scenes around El Coloso haven’t been pretty since…

The elections at the Rosario club were held on Sunday, and hours after the results were announced, members of the barra brava linked to outgoing president López broke into the stadium and ransacked the club’s property. ‘They even took the desks,’ a spokesman for new president Guillermo Lorente told Rosario newspaper La Capital.

The thieves drew up at El Coloso Del Parque and took, among many other things, an electricity generator, air conditioning units and computers. They also broke into the kitrooms at the club’s senior and junior training complexes and took training kits, match-day kits and balls along with other equipment. A source from the club also told the newspaper that it seemed someone had opened the door to allow them into the kitroom at Malvinas, the youth sides’ training venue.

Showing little regard for the club’s history, the barras even smashed a bust of Isaac Newell, the founder of the club.

‘We want to know whether [the training venues] actually belong to Newell’s,’ president Lorente told the press, referring to the fact that, under López, Newell’s had failed to pay bills and taxes to the city. Newell’s under López were more totally under the control of the barras than probably any other club in the Primera A, and these robberies are a spectacular way to say goodbye to an era most true fans of the club will be happy to see the back of.

Photo by me, taken from the HEGS Flickr pool

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10 thoughts on “Newell’s wuz robbed!

  1. I want to share good news with you. Well…on paper they are good news. I’ve learned to doubt every news regarding Racing Club’s finances over the years and until I don’t see things working properly, I won’t celebrate. That said…there is hope and I cross my fingers for Lalín not to win the elections on Sunday. Please, please, please! That’s my only wish for Christmas!

    Here is the article about Racing and the end of our bankruptcy decade (knocking on wood):

    Argentina’s Racing emerge from bankruptcy after 10 years

    * Reuters, Friday December 19 2008

    By Brian Homewood
    BUENOS AIRES, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Racing Club, one of the most popular and fanatically supported clubs in Argentina, has emerged from bankruptcy after nearly 10 years.
    The club said on its website (www.racingclub.com) that judge Enrique Gorostegui had ruled on Thursday that Racing was in a condition for bankruptcy to be lifted.
    The announcement came two days before the members of the club, Argentina’s fifth most successful in terms of domestic titles, elect their first new president for 10 years.
    Racing, based in the district of Avellaneda in the sprawling southern suburbs of Buenos Aires, have won the Argentine championship seven times but only once since 1966.
    Recently, they have languished in the middle of the table and have employed 16 different coaches in the last 10 years, three of them twice.
    At the end of last season, Racing suffered the indignity of having to playoff against second division Belgrano over two legs to keep their place in the top flight.
    They scraped through 2-1 on aggregate but more troubles followed in the preparations for the new season.
    The team were forced to call off plans for a pre-season training camp in the resort of Mar del Plata due to financial problems and players then went on strike for four days over unpaid wages.
    Racing were declared bankrupt by Daniel Lalin, the president at the time and one of five candidates in Sunday’s elections, in 1999 after years of being burdened by huge debts and repeatedly threatened with extinction.
    A private management company called Blanquiceleste S.A. (Blue and White) was brought in to run the club and committed themselves to paying off the club’s $65-million debt in 10 years.
    Racing won the Apertura championship in the 2001/02 season, ending a run of 35 years without a domestic title, but it was only a brief interlude.
    The team then dropped back into midtable and fans became increasingly agitated at Blanquiceleste’s policy of selling the club’s best players.
    A civil judge ordered intervention in Blanquiceleste S.A. earlier this year and the club was placed in the hands of state-appointed receivers.
    (Editing by Justin Palmer)

  2. Back to the topic…

    I feel sorry for what those idiots did to Newell’s and I include Mr. López among the aforementioned idiots.

    Mr. Rafael Bielsa, Marcelo’s brother who also works for the national government and is a die-hard Newell’s fan, said some time ago: “Lopez is the last of the de facto presidents in our country”. And I think he was right. 14 years without even giving the members and fans a chance to vote to change the government and all of that time he was doing what he wanted.

    He decided to prevent Newell’s from participating in other sports disciplines such as basketball (a sport in which Newell’s have a great history), volleyball and others.

    He left the club in ruins and he should get some kind of punishment for that, but this is Argentina…he’ll never be hold responsible for any of these actions and will live happily ever after.

  3. As for Independiente, I have the following situation: my grandparents are both from Avellaneda. My grandad supports Racing and grandma supports El Rojo. But here’s the trick: whenever Independiente play against any other team that is not Racing, my grandfather will want them to win and so will my grandmother when Racing face a team that is not Independiente.

    Strange, right? Wait…there’s more. They both went as a couple to watch one of the two teams every Sunday! When Racing were scheduled to play at home, they’d go and the following Sunday they’d watch el Rojo. Basically, they support Avellaneda. They are both socios (members) of the two big clubs and they both have something that is called carnet de oro (Golden card) which is a recognition a club makes when you reach more than 50 years as a paying member after you turned 18.

    So…last Sunday I went to have lunch with them and grandpa said: “Would you walk us to Independiente? We have to vote!”.

    Grandpa is 88 (89 in January) and he can barely walk, but he shows incredible determination and I couldn’t say no!

    So we walked those three blocks with the help of a cane and we reached the sede. It was packed! Everyone in red and a lot of people congratulating us for our commitment to the cause! I whispered to grandpa’s ear and said: “If they only knew we are Racing through and through!!!”. We met Bochini, Comparada, Islas and one not-so-unbiased TyC Sports journalist, Oscar Martínez, while they were all casting their votes.

    It was a very weird situation and there I was, surrounded by rojos and almost unable to keep up that polite (and incredibly fake) smile I had on my face.

    That said…I think Comparada is not doing things so wrong. Yes, he failed and made a few mistakes in his footballing decisions, but I think the way he brought the club forward economically is admirable. They will have a new stadium and there’s always time to improve footballing wise. I mean…the other option, with Noray Nakis and the backing of Ricardo “thick as a thick can be” Bochini and Daniel Bertoni, made no sense and all they did while they were campaigning was to say bad things about Comparada and they forgot to announce their ideas or future plans.

    It’s not enough with a name. It doesn’t matter if you are Bochini and this is Independiente what we are talking about.

    I would take a president like Comparada at Racing ANYDAY and with my eyes closed.

  4. What happened at Newell’s is a travesty. Lorente and his crew are talking about taking Lopez. to court, but whether we’re talking civil or criminal is yet to be determined.

    A big reason that Lopez spent so many years in charge was due to his being able to bribe judges. He found out he couldn’t do that this time around.

    A lot has changed in Argentina over the past few years.

  5. In other news, FIFA lifted the ban over the FPF (Federación Peruana de Fútbol) and their teams will now be able to play in the Copa Libertadores. Therefore, that version about Independiente and Santos getting invitations or a draw to determine which countries would have an increased quota of teams taking part of the tournament are now officially dead.

    I can’t say I’m not glad los rojos won’t compete in a tournament they didn’t deserve to join in the first place! ;)

  6. Boca v. San Lorenzo just started and what a horrible sight that 60000 stadium holding just 20000 or something like that and all completely jammed in one corner with most of the stadium free of people.

    I mean…do they do that for security reasons? Wouldn’t I feel better if I have a little space to breath when there is plenty of room everywhere?

    Plus…if you watch it on the TV all you can see from what the main camera shows you are 15000 or 20000 empty seats!

    What’s that for a championship decider? Pathetic!

  7. That was a lovely story about your grandparents, Seba : )

    It wasn’t too dissimilar in Manchester right up to the 1960s – many older Mancunians will admit to watching City one week and United the next. But something happened in the 70s and 80s that polarised everything… I don’t know what it was, but that was when the hatred set in, and now you’ll see City fans supporting *anyone* over United, whether it’s Inter Milan, Liverpool, Chelsea, anyone!

    Probably because many United fans spend all their time mocking City, in the same way as Independiente fans do Racing. It’s not ‘we’re great, you can’t beat us cause we’re the best’ anymore, it’s all about ‘you’re rubbish, you can’t do anything right and we just laugh at you’, and that is bound to cause resentment.

    Of course, rivalry’s great, and it’s a great incentive to beat the ‘other lot’, but it does go to extremes sometimes – like the 15,000 empty seats at a match between two sides that aren’t even direct local rivals – and your grandparents at least put things into perspective. But it took great fortitude to keep smiling amongst all those Reds, Seba! Well done! ;-)

  8. Thanks for your words, Matt.

    The elections will finish at 6 PM Buenos Aires. Soon after that, they’ll start counting votes.

    It shouldn’t take a hell of a lot time after 6 PM because there are only 5000ish members allowed to vote and I doubt all of them will show up.

    In this case, I think we have no option but to support: “ANYONE BUT LALÍN”

    I hope Racing and specially its fans get what they deserve and we have a president that takes care of all the off-the-pitch issues so we can concentrate on the on-the-pitch matters.

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