Ferrer has strong links with Betis, having coached them during two spells – firstly between 1994 and 1994 then later from 2004 to 20006 – and guided the Andalusians to Copa del Rey victory and third place in La Liga, qualifying for the following season’s Champions League. However, despite being a native of Mallorca and previously coaching Los Bermellones for nine seasons, he was more than forthright when asked what he felt about the Betis game as both clubs strive for the three points to help in their quest for top-flight safety.
“You have put me in a difficult position because you already know how I feel,” he replied. “I would like Betis to win although we also need a victory in pursuit of our objectives this season.”
Unsurprisingly, Ferrer’s comments have fuelled much anger among Mallorca supporters at a time when his image has been deteriorating, the club going into administration and having lurched from one crisis to another since his takeover in July, 2010. Many fans have vented their anger on internet forums, with messages such as ‘we hope you go soon’ and ‘good luck to Betis, but please take him with you’ typical of their feelings.
The furore over his words has even forced the Mallorca board to issue a statement on the matter in which they tried to play it down and insisted Ferrer had been misunderstood.
“Although he feels an enormous respect for Betis, where he spent many years of his career as Coach, there is no doubt his wish for Saturday’s game is a Mallorca win. This is, has been, and always will be Lorenzo Serra Ferrer’s first club, as he has shown in the past when he did not form part of the coaching staff or the board of directors,” it read.
Even so, the depth of feeling on the island towards the 58-year-old is now such that he is certain to receive a hot reception from home followers this weekend.