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Macan in from the cold at FC Torrevieja
Staff Reporter / 2008-05-18 17:04:42
Football is not, and never has been, a sport where rational thought and behaviour prevail, so it came as no surprise when the board of FC Torrevieja confirmed current caretaker boss Vlaho Macan as the new manager for the 2008/2009 season. The Croatian has been rewarded with another term in recognition of him securing third division football for the club.
Macan's January arrival at FC Torrevieja was the second time he had held office at the club. On both occasions it has been in financial meltdown. The first was in Preferente six years ago when he rescued the club from relegation. Then, with modest funding and a sad lack of senior players, he took Torrevieja into the play-offs and just lost out on promotion to the Tercera division.
Despite his success he was relieved of his post by Tuto at the end of that season and Riquelme was brought in.
But the former Hajduk Split defender bears no grudges. He has lived in the area for many years and he has many ties in the town. Even before being reunited with the club he could be seen regularly attending their games, both home and away. He undoubtedly recognises the importance of the football club to the town and its faithful supporters.
In a club statement he says that he is keen to advance the cause of FC Torrevieja and to use the opportunity to finish the task in building a side that he began those many years ago. He says that he is already in contact with players in the area and despite a limited budget he is confident that he will be able to find the right balance. With the help of the fans he believes that the future for the club is a good one.
President Eddie Cagigao said "Towards the end of last season, being in the financial position it was, the manager only had restricted and reduced squad so we knew that the run in toward the end of season would be tough. But now, with a line drawn under the debt and with Macan able to choose his own squad he can begin to work toward next season, towards making FC Torrevieja a top half of the table team again."
Eddie is under no illusion about next season being anything other than difficult, in fact he added "Next season is still going to be tough. With the current financial climate teams at this level will struggle to bring in sponsorship and the necessary funding, but if we can build a foundation who knows what will then happen in the next couple of seasons."
Prior to Macan's removal at the beginning of June 2005 he was regularly slated, by members of the current board, by a large majority of Torrevieja's ex-pat supporters and in the local press. He was accused of being tactically naí¯ve. It was also said that he failed to demonstrate any real discipline, that he had a lack of authority in the dressing room and that his lack of tactical awareness had cost the club promotion. That was 3 years ago, since which time and despite his many opponents, he has remained a loyal fan.
Everyone has moved on since then and the new Board have decided that the time is now right when that loyalty can finally be repaid. They say that the manager has learned both from his previous mistakes and from the subsequent experiences he has gained since he left the club and that he is ready once again to take the helm.
One thing is for certain though. Now that the President and his Board have committed themselves to his appointment, regardless of making excuses, they have to invest in their new manager and that means giving him a realistic opportunity to establish Torrevieja as a Tercera League team. They can do that by finding him a decent budget.
I am sure the directors as well as the fans do not want to be involved in the stressful, continual fight to avoid relegation. But I think we all know that if the squad is not improved that will most certainly be the case.
As a realist, I understand and appreciate that at this time the club cannot compete with many of their Tercera League opponents in the wages market. However, they have to provide more than they have so far committed to give their new manager a chance to realise his ambitions. They must give him the opportunity to compete on a level playing field with the Villarreal C, Valencia Mestella, and Elche Illicitano's of this world.
Wages have soared in recent years but if Macan is the right man for the job - and I think he could probably be so - then the board has to raise the necessary funds to give him a fighting chance. They must then trust him to spend their money wisely. Failure to do so will be seen as a lack of ambition by the most important, but often ignored, people - the supporters.