Racing face La Liga drop this weekend


Racing Santander could fall through the trapdoor into La Segunda if results go against them this Sunday.

La Liga’s bottom club are 10 points adrift of safety with five games remaining and face Athletic Bilbao at El Sardinero knowing if they lose, and both Granada and Villarreal win, then they will be mathematically relegated.

The Cantabrians have not recovered from being taken over in January, 2011 by Indian businessman Ahsan Ali Syed, who arrived in a blaze of glory and even compared himself to Bernie Ecclestone and Roman Abramovich. However, with top-flight safety only assured by the skin of their teeth last season after Marcelino had been brought in as boss, the club was forced to apply for voluntary administration last July following a series of broken promises from the new owner.

Experienced midfielder Gonzalo Colsa, who has been at the club nine years during two spells, spoke to Marca about the situation at Racing, with the club having enjoyed 10 consecutive years in La Primera.

“Things have not been managed well,” said the 32-year-old. “Ali arrived and in theory he was going to solve the economic problems but it was all lies. Those who ran the club went about their business and left the players and supporters to one side.

“I only saw Ali twice, once after training and then in the dressing room at Cornella, but we realised what was going on when the President appeared one day with a piece of paper that had a list of salaries on it and it was all lies.”

Racing have won just four games all season and some fans have called into question the attitude of the players in the last few games, with some believing they do not respect the club’s financial predicament, a suggestion Colsa rejects.

“It hurts when our own fans call us money-grabbers or mercenaries,” he maintains. “That they call us bad players doesn’t matter, because we are not playing well, but we are not the other as we have shown when we have gone about our work without earning any money. I personally am owed one-and-a-half seasons on my contract.”

The club will hold a general shareholders meeting on May 19 and 20, during which it is hoped a new board of directors will be appointed, something which could prove crucial to Racing’s future.

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