Squad news

THE TENSE RELATION WITH LAS PALMAS

17 Dec 2011
First meeting in ten years between Deportivo and Las Palmas; a lot of things happened on this decade as the Canarian club passed from been an ally to a rival at the courthouse.

On Sunday, Deportivo La Coruña faces UD Las Palmas for the first time in ten years; it seems like any other confrontation at Segunda División during the present season, but the true is that both clubs have been involved in all kinds of fights outside the pitch, which gives the weird feeling that this match is for something more than three points.

The modern relation of Depor with UD Las Palmas started in 1998 as president Augusto César Lendoiro signed right-back Manuel Pablo, who at the time was 22-years old, paying 1,3 million Euros and also receiving Argentine striker ‘Turu’ Flores as part of the package. Both players offered good results to Deportivo and Lendoiro realized about the potential at the youth teams of the Canarian club.

Some years later Juan Carlos Valerón arrived to La Coruña, it was the key factor that moved Lendoiro to sign a collaboration deal with the Canarians. Valerón arrived via Atletico Madrid, but he was one of the several youngsters coming out from Las Palmas youth system. The ‘business’ with Las Palmas also involved the exchange of players, like the move of defender Gabriel Schurrer to the Canary Islands.

The problems started as soon as Las Palmas suffered the relegation to Segunda División in 2002; the reduction of the incomes hit directly the Canarians and Las Palmas turned to be the first club in Spain that went into administration after the creation of the new bankruptcy law.  So, Las Palmas sunk without paying the transfer of Schurrer.

According to Deportivo the unpaid debt for the Argentine defender was around the 3.6 million Euros, and the pressure of Lendoiro allowed him to get a succulent deal that was allowing Depor to get the best promises at Las Palmas, in this way the Galicians put their hands over striker Ruben Castro and winger Momo, duo that arrived for the season 2004/05 after Las Palmas suffered a new relegation, this time to Segunda B.

The deal was polemic and was hardly criticized in the Canary Islands, place where Lendoiro was saw as a unscrupulous president that was trying to take advantage of Las Palmas, but later the Canarian club took advantage of an ambiguous interpretation of the contract to block the transfer of midfielder Sergio Suárez, who is currently one of the most important players at Las Palmas.

This incident was the one that started the countless legal battles between both clubs, in the end Las Palmas won the war, though first Lendoiro took central defender Aythami Artiles without paying a dime after signing a transfer for  618,000 Euros. Since those days -2007- the relation between Depor and Las Palmas is simple inexistent and a sense of resentment can be felt between both clubs, actually Lendoiro included recently the name of Las Palmas in the infamous lists of clubs that still owe money to Deportivo.

In any case, the environment at Estadio de Gran Canaria won’t be the one of a derby; actually a low attendance is expected; first to all the fact that the FIFA Club World Cup 2011 final  between FC Barcelona and Santos FC will be played at the same hour, and later the fact that Las Palmas has declared the game as “day of the club”, which means that the socios have to make an extra payment in order to watch the game –between €6 and €15- The normal ticket prices for Sunday are between the €20 and the €60.

THE CANARIANS AT DEPOR
Curiously the current Depor has Canarian blood on its veins; there are three players that made their professional debut at UD Las Palmas: Valerón, Manuel Pablo and Aythami, and to add pepper to the situation Depor also has some elements from CD Tenerife, the nemesis of Las Palmas, this since left-back Ayoze Diaz is former youngster of that club, without forgetting that José Luis Oltra has been one of the most important coaches in the history of Tenerife, also remembering that the Valencian coach has never lost a game against Las Palmas, this after six meetings.

The true is that the Canarians at Depor, instead of seeking revenge, are nostalgic as they are facing their first club, something that Manuel Pablo explained to reporters, ”Since the calendar was known, the first game that I was looking for was the one with Las Palmas; it’s marked in red since the first day, we knew the date and is special for us, because we spent a lot of years there; they educated us, it’s like our home.”

“I remember almost everything; I started when I was nine, I passed from Benjamines to the first team, and I remember all the coaches, the partners, the education, how to do the things, and the important thing was always to play and have some fun. A lot of people love us over there, though another people didn’t like how we went out, but they are aware of our feelings towards this team, because it gave us the chance to be here today.” He added.

Valerón was even saying that he won’t celebrate if he scores a goal on Sunday, “If I score, which I don’t think it will happen, I would feel a weird sensation, this for everything I lived at Las Palmas, so I wouldn’t celebrate it like I always do with any other goal. It’s always special to return home, a club that allowed us to be professionals; it gave me a name as a footballer. I am hopeful to play on Sunday, because it will be pretty.”

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/11

ZAPPING

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