Sport | Between the Lines – Racing Santander boycott a sign of things to come?

Not much in the world of football surprises Between The Lines. Having endured more long balls than hot dinners and one too many penalty shootout debacles, BTL has developed a thick skin and an unhealthy pessimism on all matters to do with ‘the beautiful game’.

So it came as a welcome surprise to watch the Racing Santander players and staff go on strike by lining up arm in arm and refusing to play their match against Real Sociedad. The players had threatened to boycott the game in protest against their own board after not being paid for several months. Santander midfielder Javi Soria claimed “We have done this for the good of football, for the good of a city and for the whole of Spain because there are lots of similar cases”. Viva la revolution! The fact that a club which shares its name with a bank is unable to pay its own players is absolute sporting poetry. Regardless of this glorious coincidence, BTL completely supports this course of action; we only hope it is the tip of the iceberg, a new era of morality. We want to see similar protests more regularly, although it is slightly regrettable that Santander chose to pick the good fight over such a small matter as money. Did they not see #FreeBieber trending? Selfish really.

Regardless of this faux pas, or rather ‘resbalón’, every movement needs to start somewhere, every vanguard a leader. Here’s hoping that a similar rebellion takes place in a ground near you soon. Just imagine Arsenal striking in a bid to promote British grown products, Manchester City adopting the minimum wage or Chelsea endorsing renewable sources of energy? You’ve heard it before, but stranger things have happened. If this isn’t the true meaning of Financial Fair Play, what is?

Joe Bookbinder

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