FIVE for 2019

Soccer 360 - - La Liga -

FROM A LACK OF THOUGHT FOR MATCH-GO­ING FANS TO MORE EX­CITE­MENT AT THE END OF THE SEA­SON, COLIN MIL­LAR SUG­GESTS HOW SPAN­ISH FOOTBALL CAN IM­PROVE IN 2019.

FEWER MON­DAY AND FRI­DAY NIGHT MATCHES

A stan­dard La Liga week­end round of games in­cludes matches which are not tech­ni­cally on week­ends – 20% of them, if not more. These games are often poorly-at­tended with par­tic­u­lar clubs — those not in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion — af­fected.

This is good for TV com­pa­nies, but highly in­con­ve­nient for fans who work long hours dur­ing the week — some games kick-off at 21:00 lo­cal time.

MORE THOUGHT FOR MATCH GO­ING FANS

Early-morn­ing kick-offs, games played in high heats, ex­ces­sive ticket prices, shoddy fa­cil­i­ties and be­ing treated with con­tempt are among the prob­lems for football fans in Spain.

Fan rep­re­sen­ta­tives need to be ap­pointed to ad­dress this myr­iad of con­cerns. At a time when La Liga is fix­ated on ex­pand­ing abroad, they shouldn’t for­get the sup­port­ers on their own doorstep at the same time.

THE RE­TURN OF FALLEN GI­ANTS

Ev­ery­one loves a fairy-tale and the pro­mo­tions of Girona, Le­ganes, Eibar and Huesca are heart-warm­ing. Yet per­haps the bal­ance has tipped – there are a host of Span­ish clubs strug­gling in the lower leagues.

Real Zaragoza, Real Mal­lorca, Malaga and De­portivo La Coruna are just four. Big clubs bring big crowds, nos­tal­gia and real in­ter­est – it would be ben­e­fi­cial to see them re­turn.

A DIF­FER­ENT COPA DEL REY WIN­NER

Barcelona have won the Cup com­pe­ti­tion four years in a row. For the last eight sea­sons, only Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have lifted the tro­phy.

Yet be­tween 1999 and 2008, none of those clubs won the Copa del Rey but eight dif­fer­ent clubs did. That was fun, and it would be bet­ter if the com­pe­ti­tions were less pre­dictable and more open.

A PROPER TI­TLE RACE

Last sea­son Barcelona won the League by 14 points and did not lose a game un­til they had al­ready won the ti­tle. It is all change this sea­son – Barca dropped 13 points in their first 13 games alone.

Any League will suf­fer without a proper ti­tle race and it en­sures the top clubs in the Di­vi­sion operate on their high­est pos­si­ble level.

Atletico Madridlook the most likely to pro­vide a real chal­lengeto Barca

Barcelona have won the Copa del Rey four years in a row — the com­pe­ti­tion needs a new win­ner

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